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In response to the global commitment to slow the effects of greenhouse gases, the European Union (EU) put in place key legislation that when enforced would help reduce the man-made impact on climate change. One key legislation known as the F-Gas Regulation went into effect on January 1st, 2015. It was only recently on January 1st, 2020, according to Chapter III Article 13 of the F-Gas Regulation, that refrigerants with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 2,500 or more became banned from being used in refrigeration units. Gases that are now banned include R134a, R410a, and R404a.

 

The Problem of F-Gas Tracking

With the ban in place, countries in the EU still face the challenge of enforcing compliance with the F-Gas Regulation. In particular, many cylinders that contain illegal gases are still finding its way into EU markets, with as many as 1000 cylinders seized by the Italian customs agency just last February in the region of Lombardy. 

The sale of illegal cylinders is a result of the market's reliance on the banned refrigerant gases, with the recent shortage of banned refrigerant gases causing an emergence of black market activity for those gases, according to the Anti-fraud Office of the European Commission. "Such illegal activities harm the environment, generate illicit profits and losses of tax revenues and create unfair competition for legitimate business." It is imperative that refrigerant gas distributors begin standardizing processes for identifying legal cylinders, and seizing any cylinders that are not in compliance with the EU F-Gas Regulation.

 

The Solution for F-Gas Tracking

To ensure that no gas cylinder goes unchecked, and no illegal gases can be sold in the market for refrigerant gases, it is important for refrigerant gas distributors and their collaborators to incorporate an f-gas tracking process that tests all cylinders in circulation. TrackAbout can help identify the gas cylinders that should be in circulation, and weed out the cylinders that should be turned into customs agencies throughout the EU. You can learn more about how TrackAbout already helps track refrigerant gases here.