Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence



  Note. The Minutes of the Management Committee cited below were adopted and approved by the Member States.

NoDate CommunicationNote Commission Comment
117 December 1998Opinion of the European Parliament, OJ C 98, 9 April 1999, p 266.     
223 February 1999Council Common Position formally adopted and published
C 123 4 May 1999, p 28.
  Environment Council reaches political agreement in December 1998. Adopted by unanimous agreement of all Member States (MS).
323 February 1999Management Committee Minutes AThe Commission agreed to prepare sector-specific information notes covering the requirements of the new regulation. MS agreed that coordinated information sharing was needed on best practice in destruction and recovery.
       BThe Commission considers CFC recovery could be difficult. UK suggests MS share their experiences so that best practice could be identified. The Netherlands refers to technology already in existence. The Commission concludes that there should be a Community policy on recovery and destruction and asks MSs to send information on how their recovery programmes are working.
411 October 1999Management Committee Minutes. CThe Commission summarised the results of the Oslo Workshop hosted by Sweden on the recovery of CFCs from the cooling circuit and from the foam of domestic refrigerators that was demonstrated at the Workshop. Recovery was reported to be costly. Best available technology for recovery would be established in MSs. The Commission commented that there remained some ambiguity in the proposed wording of the regulation.
525 February 2000Commission circulated first draft Table to MS for comment by email on clarification and interpretation of the new regulation.     
61 March 2000Management Committtee Minutes. DThe Clarifications Table circulated previously was tabled but there was no discussion of the issues. MS commented that it would be best to use definitions already in existence, but they acknowledged different interpretations already existed.
       EThe Commission invited MSs to make comments on how the regulation should be interpreted by mid-March 2000.
      FCommission stated in the Table that clarification of then Article 15 (now Article 16(1) and Article 16(3)) on the recovery of CFCs from foam needs to be in line with intention of legislators in agreeing Common Position, ie CFC recovery from the foam is required if practicable.
          There was no specific mention of Article 16(2) in the Table that required the mandatory CFC recovery from domestic refrigerators as the Commission considered 16(2) to be clear. In addition, the focus for MSs was on the current export ban of refrigerators containing CFCs rather than mandatory recovery of CFCs starting some 11 months in the future.
729 June 2000Regulation EC2037/00 adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.     
81 October 2000Regulation EC2037/00 enters into force.     
9July 2000First discussion of draft Clarification Table in an informal meeting with MSs in Geneva at the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.   Discussion on the requirements of 16.1 and 16.2 led by the UK. Some MS concluded that recovery of CFCs from foam was practicable. There were no Minutes of the Meeting since this was an informal meeting.
1011 September 2000Letter from UK on the practicality of recovering CFCs from foam; and technical comments from the Cochair of the Foams Technical Options Committee on the ability to recover CFCs from foam.   Discussions with the UK deferred to October 2000 Management Committee in two weeks time.
114 October 2000Management Committee Minutes GMost of the discussions related to the ban on the export of refrigerators since this was the immediate impact of the regulation.
           The Committee agreed that foam containing CFCs was classified as a "product" rather than a "controlled substance" and therefore came under 16(3) rather than 16(1). Article 16(3) called for recovery of ODS, if practicable. MSs reported their past and current CFC recovery operations from foam and argued that recovery was practical. Moreover, most of the CFCs are contained within the foam; hence the importance of its recovery. The UK therefore heard from the Commission and MS that recovery of CFC from foam was required.
          In a related issue, the Commission brought to the attention of the MSs that exports of equipment containing CFCs were discouraged by the Montreal Protocol.
          The Commission had received few comments on areas of the regulation that needed clarification.
1225 October 2000Management Committee Minutes. HDespite the statement from the Commission two weeks earlier, the UK asked that Article 16(2) be included in the Committee's consideration of whether "foam-containing" CFC was classified as a product or a controlled substance as previous discussions had related only to 16(1) on the export ban. Since the regulation had only been in force for three weeks, and in order to accommodate the wishes of the UK, the Commission agreed to give further consideration to this request.
138 January 2001This letter was not listed by the UK as part of its "nine communications". Letter from the UK on the export of domestic refrigerators, the extent of the trade and its value to the UK, discussions on the need to recover CFCs from the foam, and acknowledgement that one or two MSs have recovery facilities for recovery of CFCs from foam.   The letter agrees that refrigerators containing CFCs in the foam cannot be exported, and asks the Commission if there is a way around overcoming the problems associated with the drafting of this part of the regulation. The Commission agrees verbally to discuss the issues raised by the UK in an ad hoc meeting scheduled for 24 January 2001.
1431 January 2001Letter from UK on a number of issues relating to regulation, including recovery of foams from domestic refrigerators.   The Commission reviews items and adds the issues to the agenda item on clarification of the next official meeting with MSs to be held in March 2001, together with the results of the survey of refrigerator recycling in MSs.
1513-14 March 2001Management Committee Minutes IThe Commission confirmed, on the basis of the survey results, that recovery facilities were operational in a number of MSs—Italy, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The number of units being recycled was also reported. Germany reported the results of a simple test that would determine if foam in a refrigerator contained CFCs. France thought that the WEEE directive would require recovery of CFCs from the foam in the future. On a separate issue, UK thought that a possible interpretation of Article 16 of the regulation would prevent the export of cars, ships and trains sold and exported overseas by the UK, and asked the Commission to interpret "export". Finland indicated that it was still exporting refrigerators with CFCs in the foam. Denmark, Sweden and France indicated that they would return the survey questionnaire on the recycling of CFCs "shortly".
1611-12 June 2001Management Committee Minutes. JItaly supported enforcement of the regulation and a ban on the export of refrigerators. The UK pointed out that CFCs would be present in foam of domestic refrigerators if the compressor contained CFCs.
       KItaly questioned the value of the MS and the Commission providing clarification of the intent of the regulation since it had no legal standing. The Commission thought best endeavours in clarification would assist MS in their implementation of the regulation.
       LIn response to the UK, the Commission stated that recovery of CFCs from the foam was required under Article 16(1) and 16(2). Article 16(3) required the recovery of any products that did not fall under the 16(1) and 16(2), if practical. The UK said that it was prepared to accept this view if it was the consensus view of the Committee. It stated that it was not always possible to recover CFCs from foam in larger equipment, but MSs thought this was also practical as this was being carried out in Austria, Sweden and Italy. The UK discussed the wording of 16(1) which led it to believe that recovery was not practical as described in the regulation. The Commission reiterated that recovery was necessary in 16(1) and 16(2), and noted that the UK had commented that it intended to have facilities in place by 1 January 2002 to recover CFCs from refrigerators including the foam. The Commission asked for any further written comments so that these could be discussed in Montreal in June if necessary. No comments were received.

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