12 March 2024

Proposed prohibition on fluorinated gases deferred

In November 2023 the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) issued a consultation document on Proposed measures to reduce the environmental impact of fluorinated gases. Included in the document were proposed timelines to prohibit the import of equipment containing certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), including those contained in vehicle air-conditioning by January 2025 for new vehicles (and January 2028 for used).

The MIAs submission opposed the proposals, noting that as new vehicles are not built specifically for NZ, any such restriction could only follow similar restrictions being imposed in source manufacturing countries, including Australia – which has not yet proposed such a ban. The MIA followed up our submission by meeting with MfE officials in January, who found the MIAs explanation of the new vehicle market and product development cycle very informative.

Recently, the MfE notified stakeholders that: “After assessing the feedback from the consultation and analysing the policy further, it has been decided to not continue to implement the prohibitions at this time. We will continue to monitor the refrigerant market and may look to implement prohibitions in the future.”

The consultation also included proposals for regulated product stewardship for synthetic refrigerants, which is still progressing.


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