HFC producers and importers: get and transfer EU quotas

How to get an EU quota to produce or import hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) during the HFC phase down, and records you'll need to keep.

The EU is cutting the availability of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 79% between 2015 and 2030.

You can see a list of the HFCs that are part of the phase down in section 1 of the table of the fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) regulated by the EU.

From 2015 you’ll need a quota if you:

  • produce HFCs in the EU
  • import F gas equivalent to 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide or more in a year

The 100 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent threshold is very low. It’s equal to approximately 25 kg of HFC 404A. Find out how to calculate the carbon dioxide equivalent weight of other F gases.

Get a quota to produce or import HFCs

Quotas for 2015 have already been assigned, but you’ll be able to apply for a 2016 quota in spring 2015.

You can only apply for a quota if your company either:

Companies that produced or imported HFCs between 2009 and 2012, and reported the amount they produced and imported, must apply for quotas as ‘incumbents’.

Companies that didn’t produce or import HFCs between 2009 and 2012, or didn’t report the amount they produced or imported, must apply as ‘new entrants’.

Every 3 years the EU may reclassify new entrants as incumbents.

Join the HFC Registry

Producers and importers that hold an HFC quota must join the EU HFC Registry.

You must do this regardless of whether you’re an incumbent, a new entrant, or an organisation that has been transferred a quota.

The HFC Registry is part of the F gas portal on the European Commission website.

You’ll need to register for a European Commission account before accessing the F gas portal, if you don’t have one already.

Transfer all or part of your quota

Incumbent quota holders can transfer all or part of their quota to another organisation through the HFC registry. The organisation receiving the quota would then be able to produce or import HFCs themselves. The organisation must either:

New entrant quota holders can’t transfer their quotas.

Authorise an importer to use your quota

Manufacturers of equipment like refrigeration and air conditioning systems often add HFCs to products as they’re assembling them. This is known as ‘pre-charging’.

From 2017 manufacturers must use HFCs from EU quotas in any equipment that’s sold in the EU.

You can authorise a non-EU manufacturer to use part of your quota to pre-charge equipment they’re going to import into the EU.

New entrant quota holders

You must physically send HFCs from your quota to the non-EU manufacturer.

Incumbent quota holders

You can also physically send HFCs to the non-EU manufacturer.

Alternatively you can hold back an agreed amount of HFCs from the market.

In this case you must write to the non-EU manufacturer to confirm you won’t make the agreed quantity of HFCs from your quota available to the EU market.

The non-EU manufacturer can then buy that quantity of HFCs outside the quota system and use it to in equipment they’re going to sell into the EU.

Businesses that must report data to the EU

You must report data for any year in which you import or produce more than 100 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent of the following gases:

That’s equal to 70 kg of HFC 134a or 25 kg of HFC 404A.

Find out how to calculate the weight of an F gas in carbon dioxide equivalent.

Data that you must report

For each of the EU regulated F gases, or gases with record keeping requirements under the F gas regulation, you must report the quantity you:

  • produced or imported to the EU
  • placed on the market in the EU
  • sold for use as a feedstock (to be used in chemical processes to create other substances, rather than placed directly in equipment)
  • recycled
  • reclaimed
  • destroyed
  • held in stocks at the end of the year
  • authorised a non-EU manufacturer to pre-charge into equipment imported to the EU

You must also report the quantity you sold for each of the following uses that are exempt from the phase down:

  • export
  • use in military equipment
  • use in the etching of semiconductor material
  • use in the cleaning of chemical vapour deposition chambers within the semiconductor manufacturing sector
  • to produce metered dose inhalers for the delivery of medicines (eg asthma inhalers)

And you must report the main application of each gas (eg HFC 404A mainly used in air conditioning, HFC 134a mainly used in refrigeration systems).

When to send reports

You must send your data by 31 March of the following year. For example, you must send data for 2015 by 31 March 2016.

How to send reports

Submit reports through the F gas portal on the European Commission website.

You’ll need to register for a European Commission account to access the F gas portal if you don’t already have one.

Published 31 December 2014