The Chemours Company (“Chemours”), a global chemistry company with leading market positions in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials, and Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON), today announced they have engaged with the Interagency for Market Control of the Hellenic Ministry of Development (DIMEA), the Hellenic Police, and Hellenic Customs to stop illegal fluorinated gas (F-gas) refrigerants from entering the European Union (EU) at the Greek border. Approximately 15.6 tons of suspected unauthorized refrigerants including R-1234yf used as an automotive refrigerant were seized, tested, and determined to infringe valid patents or deemed illegal in the European Union, according to Greek officials. These illegal products will be safely destroyed before year-end 2023 in a process that protects workers as well as the planet.
Chemours collaborated with Honeywell in the operation to protect the Intellectual Property (IP) of refrigerant innovations owned by both companies and to detect and confiscate illegal F-gases. These efforts are part of an ongoing commitment by Chemours and Honeywell to not only protect IP, but to defend people, businesses, communities and the planet against the ramifications of illegal import activities. As phasedowns of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) progress in the EU, United States, and elsewhere, black market activities of refrigerants are expected to increase exponentially, driving authorities and companies like Chemours and Honeywell to collaborate on educating invested parties as well as strengthening enforcement efforts to deter illegal trade of HFCs.
“Chemours stands strong in our responsibility to the customers and industries we serve, as well as achieving global climate goals, to protect the IP of our refrigerant products and work with credible resources to prevent illegal trade,” said Joe Martinko, interim president of Thermal & Specialized Solutions at Chemours. “F-gases play a pivotal role in Europe’s decarbonization goals through a variety of critical industries that rely on low-global warming potential (GWP) heating and cooling solutions. There is much at stake from the use of illegal products and the damage it can have on the supply chain. Moreover, illegals sabotage regional, national, and global efforts to ensure a sustainable, healthy planet. The more unregulated volumes of product that enter the market, the greater the delay in meeting climate objectives.”
“Over the last several years, Honeywell has worked tirelessly with industry partners and EU authorities to stop infringement through outreach and education, being committed to helping customers meet their ambitious climate targets in Europe and around the world with the adoption of energy-efficient, low-GWP hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), which are critical for driving environmental transformation in the automotive industry and beyond,” said Rick Winick, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Automotive Refrigerants.
Reports by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) have shown that in 2021 alone, more than 230 tons of illegally imported F-gases were seized in multiple countries. Illegal trade of F-gas refrigerants poses threats in several areas, mainly because these “products” are unauthorized and may have unknown flammable contents such as hydrocarbons, impurities, and other contaminants. Illegal refrigerants can undermine climate objectives and disrupt the transition to lower-GWP refrigerants, erode the supply chain and economies that surround it, threaten the safety of workers, and compromise rapidly accelerating efforts to achieve a circular economy.
“We are proud to be part of a concentrated effort to stop the import of illegal F-gases and Patent Infringing Gases into the EU and, consequently, help prevent illicit practices that otherwise would prove to be destructive to economies, people’s health and wellness, and the future of our planet,” Greek officials stated. “We applaud companies such as Chemours and Honeywell, who are passionate about using their platforms and leveraging their resources to join us in these efforts. Our recent mission at the Greek border demonstrated that with collaboration and dedication by strong leaders, we can restore order and keep national and global sustainability missions on track.”
Both Chemours and Honeywell recognize and appreciate the strong efforts by Greek officials and OLAF working with private industry to support patent rights and combat the illegal import of F-gases.
In addition to collaborating with enforcement authorities, the two companies actively communicate with customers, vendors, and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of avoiding illegal and Patent Infringing products. The efforts aim to help businesses protect themselves from the negative legal impacts of buying or selling illegal products and promotes responsible practices in the industry.
To learn more about Europe’s continued efforts to counter illegal import activity, visit stopillegalcooling.eu.
For more information, we invite you to visit chemours.com or follow us on Twitter @Chemours or LinkedIn.
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