5 November 2012

France considers a removal order on all HCFC equipment

FRANCE: The French environment ministry has confirmed that it is considering a law to remove all HCFC equipment by the end of 2017.
While it has been illegal to use virgin HCFC refrigerants in Europe since January 1, 2010, and recycled refrigerant will be banned from use for servicing and top-up at the end of 2014, under EU law there is nothing to prevent HCFC-based systems operating after that date providing no new refrigerant needs to be added.

Under the French proposal, even perfectly efficient leak-tight equipment will be required to be replaced by the end of 2017.

The possibility was first revealed at the recent symposium organised by the French manufacturers' association AFCE by Samuel Just of the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. According to the French trade magazine RPF he described ongoing discussions within the ministry which included an 'obligation for holders of air conditioning equipment, refrigeration or heat pump to dispose of refrigerants HCFC contained in these before 31 December 2017'.

The removal order would also apply to any remaining CFC-containing equipment - that equipment having to be removed before July 31, 2014.

Samuel Just confirmed that this possibility was being discussed. 'We are currently considering the opportunity/feasibility of such a provision,' he told ACR News. 'A public consultation will be organized soon in order to collect the comments from the stakeholders,' he added.

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