Almost 90% of refrigeration and air conditioning contractors in 16 European countries say they are aware of illegal trading and rising theft of refrigerant gases.
A survey by the European trade body Area said HFCs, which are now subject to quota restrictions under the F-Gas Regulation, were particular targets – R134a being the most popular.
Area members said the authorities in their countries were trying to stamp out this activity, but lacked resources and/or expertise. They called for tougher penalties, an awareness campaign aimed at end users, and a clampdown on online sales activity.
‘Authorities are ultimately responsible for the proper enforcement of the F-Gas Regulation and we call on all actors – including EU and national competent authorities – to play their part in enforcing stricter controls at EU borders,’ said Area secretary general Olivier Janin.