When you can apply for quota for fluorinated gas (F gas) and how to apply for it.
You need a quota to produce or import bulk hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - the most common type of fluorinated gas (F gas).
The window to apply for 2022 GB HFC quota closed on 31 August 2021.
Each year you may apply for a quota to produce HFCs or import them to GB if you want to:
- produce or import HFCs equivalent to 100 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide in a year for the first time
- increase your quota if you’re an incumbent quota holder
You’re an incumbent quota holder if you placed HFCs on the GB market between 2015 and 2019. The Environment Agency gives you a quota each year based on your market share.
Once you have quota you can:
- use it yourself to produce or import gas
- transfer your quota to another gas producer or importer (unless you are a new entrant)
- authorise an equipment manufacturer or importer to use your quota
Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) is phasing down HFCs by 79% by 2030 from a 2012 baseline, so you may need to look for alternatives.
You cannot apply for quota if you are an equipment importer or authorisation manager. You’ll need to get quota authorisations from a quota holder.
It is against the law to place HFCs on the market if you don’t have the correct amount of quota. If you do, you could receive:
- a civil penalty - see the Environment Agency’s enforcement sanctions policy
- a quota penalty - the Environment Agency will take off 200% of the amount you imported above your quota allocation from your next quota allocation
For example, if you imported gas equivalent to 100 tonnes of CO2 more than your quota, the Environment Agency will take off 200 tonnes from your quota for the following year. They may take it from future quota until your penalty is spent.
Getting GB F gas quota
If the Environment Agency has approved you as an incumbent quota holder, they will have:
- registered you on the GB quota system
- contacted you to tell you how much UK quota you’ll receive for 2021 to 2023 - this will be the amount of HFCs that you can place on the GB market in that period
For 2021 and all following years you’ll get a:
- GB quota automatically based on your GB reference value
- notification each year of your allocation for the following year
The Environment Agency will recalculate quota reference values every 3 years based on HFC quantities placed on the GB market.
The Environment Agency will take the view that you placed HFCs on the UK market in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019 if you:
- used your EU quota to import HFCs to GB
- used your EU quota to supply HFCs to someone in GB
- did not need to use EU quota to supply HFCs to someone in the UK because it was already in free circulation in the EU27 market and you were in possession of the HFCs at the point they entered the UK
If you put HFCs on the market for the first time in 2019, you may still be classified as a new entrant rather than an incumbent quota holder.
When you don’t need GB F gas quota
You do not need GB quota if you import F gas:
- to GB solely for re-export and not for the GB market, you may be able to use the inward processing procedure
- for uses exempt from the phase-down
Apply for a GB F gas quota if you’re not based in the UK
If your organisation is based outside the UK and you want UK quota, you must have a UK representative. This representative must be a company that is based in the UK and will be responsible for complying with the F gas regulations.
You’ll need to provide this organisation’s details as well as your own when you register for an F gas account.
Apply for EU F gas quota
To be eligible you must have either:
- an office in the EU
- an EU representative (an ‘only representative’)
To find out how to specify or change an only representative on the EU system:
- email the European Commission helpdesk at CLIMA-HFC-REGISTRY@ec.europa.eu
- read the European Commission’s guide on quota allocation, authorisation and reporting