The European Commission decided to send letters of formal notice to Italy and Romania for failing to notify national measures on penalties for infringements of EU rules on fluorinated greenhouse gases (Regulation (EU) No 517/2014).
Fluorinated greenhouse gases, also known as ‘F-gases’, are a family of man-made gases used in a range of industrial applications. The Regulation aims to contribute to the fight against climate change by reducing emissions of F-gases in the EU by two-thirds by 2030. F-gases have a powerful global warming effect (up to 23 thousand times greater than carbon dioxide, CO2). EU law lays down strict rules on the use of fluorinated gases and the conditions related to the placing on the market of products containing those gases.
Under the rules adopted by Member States, penalties should have been in place by 1 January 2017 and all measures taken to ensure they are implemented.The penalties must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. The availability of appropriate sanctions under national law is a crucial element in ensuring compliance with the Regulation, and thereby limiting climate change. The availability of penalties is particularly important in view of preventing illegal trade in hydrofluorocarbons. Member States also agreed to notify national measures on penalties to the Commission by 1 January 2017.
To date, the Commission has not received any such notification from Italy and Romania. If the Member States concerned do not reply satisfactorily within two months, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.