In a recent UK Consultation, Defra asked for feedback on the subject of Introducing civil penalties for infringements of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulation in October 2017.
It should be remembered that the civil penalties are part of a package to support the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015.
Defra consulted on the introduction of civil penalties in England, Scotland and the marine areas. The measures were being considered to address concerns about whether the current penalty system provides sufficient deterrence against non-compliance.
The public consultation was open to anyone with an interest to provide comments, with particular interest, in receiving comments from those operating in the sectors of refrigeration, air-conditioning, insulation foams, electrical switchgear equipment, aerosol sprays, medical inhalers, solvents and fire extinguishers as well as environmental groups.
At the end of the Consultation period, which ran from 26 October to 24 November 2017, Defra had received 27 responses to this consultation.
The majority supported introducing civil penalties and Defra has proceeded with the proposed approach.
New regulations have been laid before the UK Parliament in January 2018 and, subject to Parliamentary approval, will come into force in a phased approach on 22 February 2018 for the main provisions & 1 April 2018 for the application of Enforcement Bodies to apply the civil penalties.
Additionally, it should be noted that the new Regulations amend the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/310) by updating those Regulations to include references to the following Commission Implementing Regulations adopted since the 2015 Regulations came into force
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/2065 (OJ No L 301, 18.11.2015, p 14);
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/2066 (OJ No L 301, 18.11.2015, p 22);
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/2067 (OJ No L 301, 18.11.2015, p 28);
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/2068 (OJ No L 301, 18.11.2015, p 39);
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2016/879 (OJ No L 146, 3.6.2016, p 1).
The Regulations, also, make provision for the appointment of certification, evaluation and attestation bodies by the Secretary of State, the disclosure of information on enforcement by HM Revenue & Customs to certain enforcing authorities.
A copy of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment) Regulations 2018 can be freely downloaded here