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THE NETHERLANDS: As Dutch air conditioning and heat pump companies see that installations are increasingly being carried out by non-certified installers, the country’s F-gas enforcement agency is taking action against the illegal activities.
In a campaign running until September 15, the Dutch Authority for the Environment and Transport (ILT) is checking whether online web shops, white goods and hardware stores comply with F-Gas regulations to ensure that devices are only installed by certified installers allowed to.
When announcing the move, the ILT said: “It appears that split air conditioners are still being sold to private individuals, particularly through web shops, but there is no evidence that the installation is being carried out by a certified company. This violates Regulation (EU) No. 517/2014. “
The Dutch group of air conditioning and refrigeration companies, the NVKL, previously expressed concerns about the increase in the work of non-certified installers of air conditioning and heat pumps.
According to the NVKL, there has been a sharp increase in the supply of air conditioning systems via online channels and non-certified installers. According to the European F-gas regulations, the sale of split air conditioning systems to end users without proof that they have been installed by an F-gas certified company is prohibited, as is the installation of a split air conditioning system by a technician without F-gas Certification.
The group argues that this is unfair competition with the uncertified companies that have significantly less administrative overhead and no quality assurance to avoid leaks. This enables them to offer lower asking prices, says the NVKL. It is also reported that examples of poor installations are regularly displayed.
The NVKL endeavors to raise awareness of the country’s legal obligations for F-Gas certification (BRL100) and to combat unfair competition through increased enforcement efforts.
The NVKL consults regularly with the ILT in order to exchange experiences and to report abuses. It urges members to report uncertified businesses and illicit trade on the IL&T website.
To raise awareness, NVKL uses social media, videos, fact sheets and information sheets to inform companies and technicians about legal obligations. The focus is also on the end user, and a consumer white paper has been developed that draws attention to buying an air conditioner.
Selling to and installing by non-certified companies and individuals is a problem across Europe. UK contractors recently called for action to prevent air conditioners from being sold to the general public in direct violation of European F-gas regulations.
Action required as illegal AC sales persist – July 14, 2020
UK: Despite alerting UK authorities, contractors continue to uncover cases of air conditioners being sold to the general public in direct violation of European F-gas regulations. Continue reading…
Dutch plan against illegal HFC trading – September 24, 2019
THE NETHERLANDS: The Dutch Government’s Environment and Transport Inspectorate has set greenhouse gas emission reductions and the cessation of illicit trafficking in HFCs as main goals in their future plans. Continue reading…