Defra, the UK government department for environment, food and rural affairs, has announced that the F-Gas phase-down schedule will remain the same in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
If the no-deal scenario does happen, then the UK will take over from the EU the regulation of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gas) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) on 30 March.
Used as refrigerants in many appliances, including commercial refrigeration, F-Gas is scheduled to be phased down and replaced with less environmentally harmful substances.
Therefore, Defra has revealed it will follow the same schedule as the EU to phase down HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons, the most common type of F-Gas) by 79% by 2030 relative to a 2009 to 2012 baseline.
That means UK F-Gas quotas will follow the same phase down steps as the EU: limited to 63% of the baseline in 2019 and 2020, and reducing to 45% of the baseline in 2021.
Most of the rules for F-Gas and ODS will not change. However, the UK will have separate quota systems, and the IT systems UK businesses use to manage quotas and report on use will change.
Subsequently, those companies which produce, import or export products containing HFCs or ODS will need to apply for a UK quota to sell them here, and an EU quota to place them on the EU market.
Defra stated: “The Environment Agency could charge regulated businesses to recover costs of running the quota and reporting systems. It will consult before deciding whether to charge. The consultation will include the level of any charges and the activities to which they would apply.”