In response to an inquiry by MACS Worldwide in November 2012, the head of the European Commission’s Sustainable Mobility and Automotive Industry Unit, Philippe Jean told MACS that in accordance with the MAC Directive 2006/40/EC the “EU Member States can not allow registration of cars (those type-approved for the use of the new gas) still using the old gas 134a,” after Jan. 1, 2013.
MACS requested an update on Jan. 31, 2013. MACS’ inquiry and the response from Mr. Jean follow:
Dear Mr. Jean,
I appreciated your kind reply to my inquiry last November regarding the auto manufacturers’ response to the European regulations regarding use of low GWP refrigerants.
As I recall, manufacturers were required to be in compliance with the regulations by Jan. 1, 2013. Can you tell me if there have been further developments in this area since the first of this year? Are vehicles using low GWP refrigerants being introduced, or are manufacturers still using R-134a?
If there is non-compliance, have any penalties been imposed?
Thank you for any information you can provide.
Thank you and best regards,
Elvis Hoffpauir, President
Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide
Dear Mr. Hoffpauir,
Thank you for your message of 31 January. I can confirm to you that Directive 2006/40/EC on mobile air conditioning (MAC) became applicable, in all its effects, on 1 January 2013.
This Directive bans, de facto, the use of current refrigerant R134a in newly type-approved vehicles because of its impact on Climate Change. The automotive manufacturers have decided, in 2009, on the use of refrigerant HFO 1234yf as the technical solution to comply with the Directive’s targets. Alternatives, such as the carbon dioxide based refrigerant R744, have not been embraced by these manufacturers.
The MAC Directive is a key EU piece of legislation in the general efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the automotive industry. Until the end of 2012 it has not been applied to its full effects due exclusively to a problem of supply of the refrigerant, which has now been solved
According to EU legislation (Framework Directive 2007/46/EC), it is not possible for motor vehicles to be registered and marketed in the EU if they are not in conformity with the relevant legislation.
As a general rule, each Member State is responsible for the implementation of EU law within its own legal system. The Commission is responsible for ensuring that EU law is correctly applied. Where a Member State fails to comply with EU law, the Commission has powers of its own (action for non-compliance) to try to bring the infringement to an end. Under the non-compliance procedure started by the Commission, the 1st phase is the pre-litigation administrative phase, the “infringement proceedings”, that enables the Member State to conform voluntarily with the requirements of the law.
Head of Unit
DG Enterprise and Industry
Sustainable mobility and Automotive industry (B4)