08 June 2018

F-Gas Quota- Use It or Lose It

A-Gas Managing Director, John Ormerod, explains why the F-Gas quota is increasing in importance and how businesses can work together to protect and grow our industry.

In the complexity of the detail that lies behind the F-Gas Regulations, it is easy to be caught out by the small print. You can find yourself losing all or part of your refrigerant quota if you do not submit a full report on usage to the European Commission portal. This happened to a number of businesses in the industry last year. F-Gas officials want to know if the quantity of gases you imported, exported, recycled, reclaimed and sold over the past 12 months and how much you hold in stock. They also want to know if you authorised a non-EU manufacturer to pre-charge high GWP HFCs into equipment imported into the EU.

If you are a quota holder it is important you understand your options to ensure that you do not lose your quota if all of it is not used. You could as a business sell your left-over quota and in doing so contribute to ensuring supply to our industry. However, how you sell your quota is dependent on what type of quota you hold – incumbent quota or new entrant reserve.   

If you were importing refrigerant into Europe during the years of 2009 to 2012 you are an incumbent quota holder. The good news for you is that you can buy and sell the refrigerant or simply sell the quota. Selling the quota really couldn’t be easier; with a click of a button on the F-Gas portal, you can transfer the CO2 equivalent tonnage to another F-Gas registered company within seconds.

The other group of quota holders are new entrant reserves. More than 1100 businesses have been issued with new entrant reserve quota in 2018. These small parcels cannot be sold as quota. The quota holder has to physically trade the refrigerant. For those without supply chain links or experience of buying and selling refrigerant – and no logistical support for shipping refrigerant – trading new entrant reserve quota can appear on the face of it to be fraught with difficulty. Rather than wash your hands of the matter, and in doing so risk losing your F-Gas quota, why not look for help? A-Gas has launched a use it or lose it service for customers to help them get the most from their refrigerant quotas.

The number of new entrants has grown considerably in the last three years. In tandem with this expansion, each allocation of new entrant reserve has become smaller over the years. Nowadays each new entrant is probably left with less than half a tank of a high GWP refrigerant to trade with. With such small quantities logistically it is now even more difficult for businesses to go it alone in the market.

For A-Gas this has created an opportunity to provide a trouble-free and reliable service that provides quota holders with the opportunity to sell unwanted quota to those that have experience of trading in refrigerants. We have an existing, dedicated supply chain in China with a state of the art custom-built laboratory, an incumbent quota of our own and support offices worldwide. We have the expertise to handle this line of work which allows us to pool smaller parcels of quota and transfer it into larger quantities of refrigerant for supply into the market.

In the overall context of the availability of refrigerant supplies, we cannot afford to lose any quota at all. This is important as we need to use as much of it as is physically possible to ease any pain for the rest of the industry during the transition to low GWP HFCs.  To borrow a phrase, every little counts.

Bear in the mind that every three years the European Commission recalculates the quota levels. They have tough targets set out to reduce the levels of high GWP HFCs in use by 79 percent in the years between 2015 and 2030. So F-Gas officials will look at the information sent from businesses in front of them and adjust quota levels to suit. The onus is on refrigerant users to make sure they don’t miss out. If the European Commission sees the quota is not used, they will assume it is not needed. So don’t lose it – use it.

Understand your options for refrigerant quota and find out what support is available to you.