UK: The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has called on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Romania’s illegal trade in HFC refrigerants.
More than a year after the publication of an EIA report into the illegal importation of refrigerants into Europe identified Romania as one of the major entry points, the environmental group claims Romania has taken no action.
The report, Europe’s Most Chilling Crime – The illegal trade in HFC refrigerant gases, revealed that Romania was a major illegal entry point for Chinese-made HFCs, smuggled in via Turkey and Ukraine. It highlighted corruption of customs officials, misuse of the EU’s transit procedure, a blatant disregard for F-gas quotas and a ready availability of contraband material.
The findings of the report, which included details of commonly used smuggling routes and methods, as well as the names of some of those involved, were supplied to Romanian customs authorities prior to publication.
In September last year, two months after the report was published, the EIA claimed that no enforcement action had been taken, even though the report was covered in the country’s media.
A year on, the EIA is now urging the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to launch an investigation into the growing black market in greenhouses gases.
“Despite giving Romanian law enforcement our evidence 12 months ago, no action appears to have taken place,” said EIA senior climate campaigner Fionnuala Walravens.
“The illegal trade not only jeopardises the achievement of the EU’s climate objectives, but it has also resulted in the loss of approximately €77m a year in VAT and customs duties.
“So, in a first for EIA, we are now asking the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which exists to protect EU taxpayers’ money from criminals, to investigate this growing black market in greenhouses gases.”
EIA slams Romanian inaction on illegal refrigerant trade – 17 September 2021
UK: The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has accused enforcement authorities in Romania of “alarming complacency” in failing to tackle the illegal trade in HFC refrigerants. Read more…
EIA exposes corruption in Romania’s criminal HFC trade – 8 July 2021
UK: The Environmental Investigation Agency has uncovered “systematic corruption” of customs officials in the illegal importation of refrigerants into Europe, with Romania identified as one of the major entry points. Read more…