Northern Irish F gas users urged to prepare for change ahead of 1 January 2021

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Producers, suppliers and traders of fluorinated gases (F gases) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in Northern Ireland are being urged by the UK Government to take action to ensure they are prepared for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

F gases and ODS are used widely in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, as well as fire extinguishers, solvents, and insulation foams. They are powerful greenhouse gases, and are subject to regulation in order to reduce their use and tackle climate change.

After the end of the transition period, EU regulations will continue to apply to all businesses in Northern Ireland who produce, supply, import, export or use F gases or ODS.

This means two changes for businesses in Northern Ireland:

  • Businesses who import and supply the Northern Ireland market with F gases or equipment containing F gas will need to have enough EU quota/authorisations to cover their imports from Great Britain, if they do not already have this. Engineers and end-users, such as equipment manufacturers, installers and supermarkets, working with F gas should ensure they get their F gas from someone that has EU quota.

  • F gas and ODS technicians in Northern Ireland will need to qualify for an Irish certificate if they are to continue working in the Republic of Ireland from January 2021. However, they will be able to continue to work in Northern Ireland with their current certificate.

Businesses in Great Britain using or trading F gases or ODS will fall under new systems for Great Britain from 1 January 2021. This will continue to restrict ODS and phase down F gases in line with current schedules.

All businesses across the UK will need to comply with new guidance setting out in detail the steps that need to be taken before the end of the year.

The new free-to-use Trader Support Service will provide support and guidance to businesses moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol. Businesses who sign up to the Trader Support Service will be guided through the new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol and can also use it to complete digital declarations.

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