In the event of a no-deal Brexit, companies that currently require quotas under the European F-gas phase-down mechanism will need to apply for a UK quota before 30 March 2019.
The European F-gas and ODS regulations for refrigerants will no longer apply in the UK if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Instead, new UK regulations will transfer most of the requirements of the EU regulations into UK law.
The information on what will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit is contained in a new guide produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Most affected will be those who produce, supply, import, export or use bulk F-gas or ozone-depleting substances (ODS) or manufacture or import equipment containing F-gas or ODS.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, EU F-gas and ODS regulations will no longer apply in the UK from 30 March 2019. However, the UK will continue to restrict ODS and use the same HFC phase-down schedule as the EU.
While most of the rules for F-gas and ODS will not change, the UK will have separate quota systems, and the IT systems UK businesses use to manage quotas and report on use will change.
Companies producing, importing or exporting HFCs or ODS, or products containing HFCs or ODS, will need to apply for a UK quota to place them on the UK market and/or an EU quota to place them on the EU market. Those importing or exporting ODS, including to and from the EU, will need to apply for a UK import or export licence.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all decided to remain part of a single, UK-wide system during the EU withdrawal implementation period. The withdrawal period is 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020.
The Environment Agency will administer the systems for the whole of the UK and is to consult on whether to charge regulated businesses to recover costs of running the quota and reporting systems.
Companies will be contacted this month with their reference value and the Environment Agency will publish details of how to use the UK F-gas systems in early 2019.