Directive MAC : la Commission Européenne met l’Allemagne en demeure (en anglais)

La Commission européenne a ouvert une procédure d’infraction à l’encontre de l’Allemagne pour non respect de la directive MAC.
The European Commission has issued an infringement notice against Germany for failing to enforce the MAC Directive.

On January 23, 2014, in its letter of formal notice, the Commission requested that the German authorities fully apply the Directive to vehicles produced by all their manufacturers. The Commission also sent a pilot letter – a notice of potential infringement proceedings – to the UK, Belgium and Luxembourg that have informed the Commission of similar practices (extension of old-vehicle approvals) by their respective type-approval authorities, requesting more information on the situation.

The proceedings against Germany were triggered by Daimler’s concerns over the safety of R1234yf, the car industry’s preferred replacement for R134a. Under the MAC Directive, refrigerants with a GWP of over 150 were banned in all new models of cars from January 1, 2013. Daimler insisted that it would continue using R134a (with its GWP of 1300) until it had perfected systems using its preferred option CO2.

The Commission criticised the German approval authorities for not ensuring compliance and not imposing adequate remedial measures on Daimler. It also blamed the German authorities for accepting Daimler’s request to discontinue the use of type approvals granted to vehicles using the new refrigerant which were already being produced and put on the market. It also said the German authorities granted extensions of old vehicle approvals to vehicles, thus allowing a temporary exclusion of the concerned vehicles from compliance with the MAC Directive.

The Commission said it considers that there are indications that the extensions were requested with the sole purpose of circumventing the application of the MAC Directive, thus depriving it of its intended effects.
Under EU infringement procedures, Germany has two months to respond to the Commission’s letter of formal notice.

Nearly half a million cars are now reported to be on the road today using R1234yf, and by the end of 2014, the figure is expected to exceed 2 million.