FLUORINATED GASES AND EMISSIONS FROM MOTOR
VEHICLES AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS (12179/03)
Letter from Elliot Morley MP, Minister
of State for Climate Change and Environment, Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman
I am writing to you to inform you about the
conclusion of the negotiations on these dossiers. Final agreement
was reached between the Council and the European Parliament at
the Conciliation Committee meeting on 31 January 2006.
The Commons scrutiny debate was on 14 January
2004 and I provided further information on 25 April, 13 July,
Lord Whitty wrote on 24 August 2004 and I wrote again on 28 July
2005. In my most recent letter of 14 December 2005
wrote to provide an update on the EP's Second Reading and to provide
a final account of the progress made during our Presidency of
the European Union.
At the Conciliation Committee meeting, agreement
was reached on a compromise package, taking account of the amendments
proposed by the EP at their second reading. The Council rejected
EP amendments intended to enable Member States to go further in
their national legislation than the Treaty allows, which could
have led to distortion of the internal market. As a compromise,
the Committee agreed a new paragraph 3 in article 9, which provides
for a time limited derogation (until 31 December 2012) from the
placing on the market provisions, for those Member States that
had stricter national measures in place as at 31 December 2005.
Such existing stricter national measures must be compatible with
the Treaty. Further additional text (new article 14) permits Member
States to maintain or introduce more stringent measures in relation
to use and placing on the market prohibitions and labelling but
these measures must again be compatible with the Treaty.
The Council accepted other EP amendments or
negotiated satisfactory compromises on a range of technical amendments.
The Council was also successful in developing compromises that
addressed Member States' concerns about the possible introduction
of disproportionate and unjustified Regulatory burdens.
One amendment to the Directive was agreed. A
new paragraph 6 to article 5 permits Member States to promote
alternative (ie those that do not use f gases) mobile air-conditioning
systems which are efficient, innovative and further reduce the
climate impact. Such action must however be without prejudice
to relevant Community law.
The agreed texts now have to be formally adopted
by the Council and the European Parliament before they are published
in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The outcomes are in line with UK objectives,
including on the legal base of the Regulation, and on the technical
amendments. While the UK was unable to conclude this negotiation
during our Presidency of the EU, the Austrian's thanked the UK
for their work towards setting up the final agreement in the Conciliation
The main body of the provisions in the Regulation
are set to apply from mid 2007 (one year and 20 days after its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union),
with further provisions applying from one or two years after that
date. Defra will lead on the implementation of the Regulation
while DfT will transpose and lead on implementation of the Directive.
25 March 2006
86 Correspondence with Ministers, 45th Report of
Session 2005-06, HL Paper 243, p 340. Back