The following message has been published by Defra F gas ODS Team:

From 1 January 2021, the EU F-gas and ODS Regulations will no longer apply in and to Great Britain. The UK Government has laid legislation to amend a previous statutory instrument in order to implement the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland for restricting the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases). This legislation is required so that the UK can properly implement relevant EU law in Northern Ireland only (meaning Northern Ireland will remain in the EU F-gas and ODS systems) and makes other minor technical amendments as required. Further information on this legislation can be found here.

This legislation will also provide the powers for Great Britain to establish and implement its own system for regulating F gases and ODS.

The four governments of the UK have agreed to make collaborative arrangements by way of a Common Framework in relation to ODS and F gas policy development and delivery. Some of the arrangements described in the Common Framework will not apply to Northern Ireland given the requirements of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland. However, to facilitate information sharing and ongoing cooperation, the Framework remains UK wide in its scope.

The Framework will set out how the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments will manage a GB-wide system from the 1 January 2021. It will also set out how future changes and potential divergence on policy matters will be managed. The Framework will be implemented by a concordat and will set out the governance arrangements, the decision-making and dispute resolution process, and working arrangements for collaboration and coordination.

The GB-wide system will cover F gas and ODS registration, quota, licensing and reporting arrangements. The Environment Agency will administer the GB-wide system on behalf of England, Scotland and Wales, subject to receiving the direction of the Scottish and Welsh Ministers, from the end of the Transition Period. Guidance on how this system will operate and be administered from 1 January 2021 is available here, and covers the specifics of registration, quotas and applying for ODS licences.

Compliance with the other aspects of the retained EU law outside of the GB system, such as requirements for leak checking, record keeping and the use of certified personnel, will continue to be enforced by regulators in the respective administrations.

All areas of ODS and F-gas policy, including the GB-wide system administered by the Environment Agency and the wider aspects of the GB legislation (retained EU law) such as those outlined above, will be subject to the principles and governance arrangements set out in the Framework. Further detail on the Common Framework can be found in the attached summary document.

You can feedback any thoughts or queries relating to these arrangements to the F-gas and ODS Team at Defra [email protected]

Feedback may be shared with policy teams from the other three governments.