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Climate Action: Commission urges Romania to notify national measures on penalties for infringements of Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases

Today, the European Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Romania for failing to adopt measures on penalties for breaches of Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases. Fluorinated greenhouse gases, also known as ‘F-gases', are a family of manmade 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 23,000 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 a notification of national measures on penalties from Romania. Therefore, the Commission has moved to the second step in the infringement procedure with a Reasoned Opinion, following the letter of formal notice sent to Romania in July 2019. Romania has two months from the time they receive the reasoned opinion to communicate such measures to the Commission.