Latest: Revised F-Gas Regulations
he revised F-Gas Regulation, (EU) No 517/2014 was published in the Official Journal on the 16th April 2014. This will repeal the original F-Gas Regulation (EC) 842/2006.
The revised Regulation will come into effect from the 1st January 2015 and shall apply to all Member States of the EU without exception.
Not all provisions of the Regulation will be effective from that date and many requirements will be phased in over the course of a decade or more.
The main features of the revised F-Gas Regulation
The Regulation establishes the following:
Cap and phase-down for the placing on the market of HFCs
Bans or restrictions based on GWP of the use of F-Gases in some new equipment, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, insulating foams and technical aerosols
Conditions (for example, reporting on quantities of HFCs contained and the need for HFC import quotas) on the placing on the market of products and equipment containing or relying upon F-Gases
Future restrictions on servicing/maintenance of equipment using HFCs
Rules regarding containment, use, recovery and destruction of HFCs
The Regulation will apply from 1st January 2015
The aim of the agreed Regulation is to reduce F-Gas emissions by two-thirds of today's levels by 2030 and to encourage the use of viable and more climate-friendly alternatives where they are readily available.
The revised Regulation in detail
The regulation introduces a phase-down mechanism involving a gradually declining cap on the total placement of bulk HFCs (in tonnes of CO2equivalent) on the market in the EU.
Base line: 2009-2012 average placed on the market into the Union
Year 2015 100% 2016-17 93% 2018-20 63% 2021-23 45% 2024-26 31% 2027-29 24% 2030 21%
EQUIPMENT AND APPLICATION BANS ON SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT THAT US F-GASES Domestic refrigerators and freezers that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more 1st January 2015 Refrigerators and freezers for commercial use (hermetically sealed systems) that contain HFCs with GWP of 2500 or more 1st January 2020 that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more 1st January 2022 Stationary refrigeration equipment, that contains, or that relies upon for its functioning HFCs with GWP of 2500 or more except equipment intended for application designed to cool products to temperatures below -50oC 1st January 2020 Multipack centralised refrigeration systems for commercial use with a capacity of 40kW or more that contain, or that rely upon for their functioning, fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 150 or more, except in the primary refrigerant circuit of cascade systems where fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP of less than 1500 may be used 1st January 2022 Movable room air-conditioning appliances (hermetically sealed equipment which is movable between rooms by the end user) that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more 1st January 2020 Single split air-conditioning systems containing less than 3kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases, that contain, or that rely upon for their functioning, fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 750 or more 1st January 2025 Foams that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more except when required to meet national safety standards Extruded polystyrene (XPS) 1st January 2020 Other foams 1st January 2023 Technical aerosols that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more, except when required to meet national safety standards or when used for medical applications 1st January 2018
HFC Import quota
The Commission shall allocate quotas for placing HFCs on the market for each producer and importer for each year beginning with the year 2015 applying the allocation mechanism laid down in Annex VI.
The reference values for the producers and importers will be re-calculated by 31st October 2017 and every three years after that on the basis of the annual average of the quantities of HFCs lawfully placed on the market after 1st January 2015 as reported under Article 17 for the years available.
Each producer/importer will receive a quota corresponding to 89% of the reference value multiplied by the percentage. The remaining percentage will cover imports from newly registered importers and HFCs that are imported in equipment.
Servicing and maintenance restrictions
A number of provisions on servicing have been introduced as follows:
The use of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP > 2500 to service or maintain refrigeration equipment with a charge size of 40 tonnes of CO2 equivalent or more shall be prohibited from 1st January 2020. This provision shall not apply to military equipment or equipment intended for applications designed to cool products to temperatures below -50oC.
The maximum allowable charge weights for some of the popular high GWP refrigerants are illustrated below:
Refrigerant GWP Max. Charge Size
(40 tonnes CO2 equivalent)
R404A 3922 10.2kg R507A 3985 10.0kg R422A (Isceon® 79) 3143 12.7kg R422D (Isceon® 29) 2729 14.6kg R434A (RS-45) 3245 12.3kg
Until 1st January 2030, this provision shall not apply to reclaimed fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP > 2500 used for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration equipment, provided that they have been labelled in accordance with Article 10 (4a) to Article 9 (3).
Until 1st January 2030 this provision shall not apply to recycled fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP > 2500 used for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration equipment provided they have been recovered from such equipment. Such recycled gases may only be used by the undertaking which carried out their recovery as part of maintenance or servicing or the undertaking for which the recovery was carried out as part of maintenance or servicing.
From the 1st January 2015, operators of equipment that contains fluorinated greenhouse gases in quantities of 5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent or more and not contained in foams shall ensure that the equipment is checked for leaks. This applies to operators of stationary refrigeration equipment, stationary air conditioning equipment, stationary heat pumps, stationary fire protection equipment, refrigeration units of refrigerated trucks and trailers and organic Rankine cycles.
|Tonnes CO2 equivalent charge weight||Frequency of inspection||Frequency if leak detection equipment fitted||Leak detection equipment mandatory|
|≥ 5 and ≤ 50||Every 12 months||Every 24 months||No|
|≥ 50 and ≤ 500||Every 6 months||Every 12 months||No|
|≥ 500||Every 3 months||Every 6 months||Yes|
|Hermetic systems ≤ 10||None||None||No|
For some of the commonly used HFC refrigerants this equates to the following kg charge weights.
|Tonnes CO2 equivalent charge weight||Between 5 & 50 tonnes||Between 50 & 500 tonnes||Greater than 500 tonnes|
|Frequency of inspection||Every 12 months||Every 6 months||Every 3 months|
|R404A||1.27 kg to 12.7 kg||12.7 kg to 127.4 kg||Greater than 127.4 kg|
|R407A||2.37 kg to 23.7 kg||23.7kg to 237.3 kg||Greater than 237.3 kg|
|R410A||2.39 kg to 23.9 kg||23.9 kg to 239.5 kg||Greater than 239.5 kg|
|R407C||2.81 kg to 28.1 kg||28.1 kg to 281.8 kg||Greater than 281.8 kg|
|R134a||3.49 kg to 34.9 kg||34.9 kg to 349.6 kg||Greater than 349.6 kg|
Note: By way of derogation, until 31st December 2016, equipment that contains less than 3 kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases or hermetically sealed equipment, which is labelled accordingly and contains less than 6 kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases shall not be subject to leak checks.
From the 1st January 2017, RAC equipment placed on the market containing F-Gases shall be labelled with a reference that the equipment contains fluorinated greenhouse gases, the name of the refrigerant, the quantity of gas expressed in kg and CO2 equivalent along with the GWP value of the refrigerant.
Typical indicative labelling for a system containing 8kg of R407A might be as follows:
Import of equipment rules/Traceability
A detailed traceability process has been established for the import of equipment containing HFCs. From 1st January 2017 refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment charged with HFCs shall not be placed on the market unless the HFCs charged into this equipment are accounted for within the HFC quota system. An annual declaration of conformity by equipment manufacturers/producers, verified by an external auditor, is required.
1st July 2017: Report on the Annex III, point 11b (the multipack centralized systems) to see if alternatives are available and viable.
Report assessing the quota allocation method, including the impact of grandfathering and the costs of implementing this Regulation in Member States and of a possible international agreement on HFCs.
In view of this, a legislative proposal may be presented to amend the quota allocation method (fees, auctioning, etc)
1st July 2020: Report on Annex III, single split AC and the availability of alternatives
31st December 2020: Report on the availability of HFCs on the Union market
31st December 2022: A comprehensive report on the effects of this Regulation