ACRIB Update: F-Gas Developments

990ff159-d5f9-4f91-bfe0-530e9a47b384

Published: 20 January 2016


It appears to have been fairly quiet on the F Gas Regulation front in recent months but there have been some developments behind the scenes.

EPEE – the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment is conducting a useful study on how the regulation is being implemented across Member States and this is throwing up a number of issues, which will be fed back to the European Commission.
The latest figures (right) available from the Environment Agency on the numbers of individuals having achieved the required minimum qualifications and companies including sole traders obtaining their F Gas Certifications are encouraging:
  • Nearly 35,000 individuals have obtained full certification to City & Guilds Cat. 1/CITB J11
  • 530 are qualified to work only on equipment under 3kg of HFC refrigerant -City & Guilds Cat. 2/CITB J12
  • Recovery of end of life equipment only -City & Guilds Cat. 3/CITB J13 – 1,000
  • Leak checking only - City & Guilds Cat. 4/CITB J14 – 2,105
  • Company/Sole Trader F Gas Certifications are now just under 7,000
In the meantime the European Commission published three new implementing Regulations relevant to air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump sectors, in November 2015.

Labelling

The first of these outlined the format for new labels for products and equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases, which must be in place from 1st January 2017. Known as Implementing regulation (EU) 2-015/2068, this replaces Regulation (EC) No 1494/2007 and article 12 (14) of Regulation (EC) No 842/2006.  

It defines the exact wording of the information to be included on labels referred to in Article 12 (1) of Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 and sets out requirements ensuring visibility and readability of such labels with regards to their layout and replacement. New labelling requirements will apply to all products containing fluorinated greenhouse gases including equipment and containers, drums, road and rail tankers from 1st January 2017.

​The wording is similar to existing labels but includes additional requirements such as CO2 equivalent values.

Harmonisation of certification across different Member States

​The second sets out the format for Member States to notify the Commission of any additional training and certification programmes. Known as Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2065, this replaces article 10 (13) of Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 and repeals Commission Regulation (EC) No 308/2008.

It specifies essential information required to allow the authentication of a certificate or attestation to ensure it complies with the minimum requirements. This should be reassuring for those employing individuals who have gained their certificate in another Member State.

Minimum requirements for individual certification

The third updates the minimum requirements and conditions for the certification of technicians and companies in the stationary air conditioning, refrigeration, heat pump equipment and extends these to refrigerated trucks and trailers containing fluorinated greenhouse gases. This is Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2067, and replaces Article 10 (12) of Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 and also repeals Regulation (EC) No. 303/2008.

It clarifies new obligations for refrigerated trucks and trailers, concerning certification of companies and individuals, that have now been included in the new Regulation. It also formalises the requirements for the content of certification programmes to contain information on relevant technologies to replace or reduce the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

​This new requirement was included in UK certifications from January 215, but the Implementing Regulation applies only from 1st July 2017 to allow other Member States time to adapt their existing certification programmes. It should be noted that existing Certificates issued under the original Regulation 842/2006 remain valid and re-certification is not required, unless the certificate issuer has put an expiry date on it.
If you wish to download copies of the new Regulations there are links on the www.acrib.org.uk website, where the latest information on F Gas is added regularly.

ACRIB is participating in the implementation study being conducted by EPEE (mentioned above) and would be pleased to feedback any issues and concerns that individuals or companies implicated by the new F Gas Regulation may have. All such issues and concerns are also shared with DEFRA and the Environment Agency as deemed appropriate.

We are also advised that DEFRA is proposing to host an F Gas stakeholder meeting in March to keep industry informed of the latest developments. ACRIB will report on the outcomes of that meeting in the future.