22 May 2023

Road to COP28: Another important step towards phasing out the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the UAE

Authored by: Natalie Scott, George Anis and Mohammad Al Juneidi

In this brief update, Natalie Scott, George Anis and Mohammad Al Juneidi from our Regulatory & Government Advisory Practice Group provide a brief overview of the recently enacted Decree No. (138) of 2023 Regulating the Handling of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the UAE (Decree 138).

The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has recently published Decree No. (138) of 2023 Regulating the Handling of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the UAE.  

Published in the UAE Year of Sustainability this important and timely instrument aligns closely with MOCCAE’s mandate to develop solutions and regulations to combat climate change, enhance air quality, and safeguard the environment.

The key provisions of Decree 138 are as follows:

  • Sets out provisions regulating the usage and distribution of HFCs in the UAE, with the intention of regulating their circulation and preventing their release into the atmosphere.
  • Applies throughout the UAE, including all free zones and to all establishments that undertake HFC-related activities, and requires such establishments to, among other things:  
    • Register with the MOCCAE;
    • Disclose yearly HFC import amounts for the previous three years;
    • Obtain a permit to manufacture, import, export, re-export or transit HFCs, or recycled or reclaimed HFCs;
    • Submit quarterly reports outlining the quantities of HFCs they have sold, used, and have on hand;
    • Adhere to the Basel convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, in case of transboundary disposal; and
    • Avoid the release of HFCs into the atmosphere.

Decree 138 aligns with the UAE's preparations to host the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) this year and marks another significant step in the UAE's endeavor to uphold its obligations towards climate change mitigation and curbing harmful emissions. 

The UAE is progressively phasing out the use of HFCs, with the aim to ban them entirely by 2040.

If you have any questions on Decree 138 or any other measure to combat climate change, please feel free to contact our team.


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