The government is reminding businesses that produce or trade products such as refrigerators and air conditioners to sign up online to ensure the UK maintains current environmental standards after Brexit.
The online system controls the use of harmful greenhouse gases, including flourinated gases (F-gases) as well as ozone depleting substances (ODS), which damage the Earth’s ozone layer and contribute to global warming.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, businesses that produce or trade in these gases or products that contain them will have to register on the new system by 14th November.
Those that register after the deadline will not get a quote for F-gases for 2019 or 2020 and businesses that export the gas or ODSs, or products containing them, to the EU would need to set up an office in the EU or appoint an ‘Only Representative’ to meet regulations.
The reminder comes on World Ozone Day today, which celebrates more than three decades of international co-operation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol, which has led to the phase out of 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air conditioners and many other products.
The government says the new online system will enable the UK to continue its commitment to phase down the use of F-gases by 79% between 2015 and 2030 to combat climate change.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “World Ozone Day is an important reminder of the need to do everything we can to protect our fragile ozone layer, which is one of the many reasons that this government is making sure that our environmental standards will be not only maintained but enhanced after we leave the EU.
“This online system is part of that commitment and while we would prefer to leave the EU with a deal, it’s crucial that businesses sign up ahead of 31st October if we cannot reach an agreement.
“This is not only so they can continue to import F-gas but also so that the UK can continue to phase down its use as part of the global fight against climate change.”
Technicians qualified in the UK to service products that use F-gas or ODSs, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, will continue to be authorised to operate in the UK but not in the EU.