The government has launched a new system to ensure the UK maintains current restrictions on the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The new online system, launched today, will control the use of these harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. This includes Fluorinated gases (F gases), powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, as well as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), which damage the Earth’s ozone layer.
If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, UK businesses that produce or trade in these gases or products that contain them will have to register on the new system by 12 April 2019. This will replace the current system which controls emissions for all EU Member States.
The new system will enable the UK to continue its ambitious commitment to phase down the use of F gas by 79% between 2015 and 2030 to combat climate change.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the government’s top priority, but it is the job of a responsible government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.
The new system is part of the government’s commitment to maintain environmental standards once we leave the EU. The continued phase out of harmful greenhouse gases is critical to the global fight against climate change.
Under the new requirements, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal:
Businesses that produce or import F gas or ODSs in the UK must register to the new UK system. Businesses are able to register between 11 February and 12 April 2019. UK businesses which are already registered on the EU system will receive an email from Defra about how to register. Other businesses can also register online;
Businesses that register before exit day (29 March 2019) will be able to operate as normal from 30 March 2019. Anyone who registers between 30 March and 12 April 2019 would have to wait for their registration and quota application to be approved before they can trade;
Businesses looking to secure an F Gas quota for the first time would need to wait until after 12 April 2019 before they can use their quota to import gas. Anyone registering after 12 April 2019 would not get a quota for 2019;
UK businesses that import products containing F gas or ODSs must be authorised under the new UK system;
UK businesses that export F gas or ODSs, or products containing them, to the EU would need to set up an office in the EU or appoint an Only Representative to meet EU regulations; and
Businesses and members of the public that use products that contain F gas or ODSs should continue to operate as they do now as regulations and supply will remain the same.
Technicians qualified in the UK to service products that use F gas or ODSs, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, will continue to be authorised to operate in the UK but not in the EU.
UK certified technicians who work in the EU should monitor decisions made by the EU Commission and Member State governments.
Businesses and technicians that may be affected should read the latest guidance on using and trading in F gas and ODSs after the UK leaves the EU.