9 November 2012
Praise for US action against R22 smugglers
USA: The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (ARAP) has praised the US government for its actions against HCFC refrigerant smugglers.
Over the last two years the US government has successfully concluded 11 criminal and civil cases related to the controlled R22 refrigerant.
Individuals and companies were found guilty of various crimes related to the illegal importation or sale of over 3,300,000lbs of R22, fined over $1.5m, required to forfeit proceeds of almost $2.7m and received jail and probation amounting to over 26 years.
In the US, R22 may be legally produced domestically and imported into the US provided that EPA-issued quota allowances are expended. Anyone importing HCFCs without legal allowances is in violation of federal law.
'Purchasers of the illegal refrigerant are at risk,' said ARAP executive director Dave Stirpe. 'The government may confiscate any illegally imported refrigerant, even if it has been passed down through the marketplace, and it may prosecute purchasers who knowingly buy illegal material. Consumers should also be wary of the refrigerant since some of the imported material has been found to be of poor quality, or it could be counterfeit,' Stirpe noted.