9273225_lRW_Advert2UK: ACRIB has reassured UK air conditioning and refrigeration engineers that existing individual F-gas certificates will remain valid under the new regulations.

The announcement by ACRIB comes following confirmation of the situation by DEFRA and the Environment Agency and means that the 30,000 existing individual F-gas certificates issued in accordance with the 2006 F-gas regulations remain valid under the new 2014 Regulation EC517/2014.

However, ACRIB has pointed out that if a certificate has an expiry date, the certified engineer will need to undertake a reassessment when due. Reassessments are now available for those holding expired CITB Certificates. For those holding City & Guilds 2079 (or relevant units within the 7189 or 6187 qualifications) no reassessment is necessary.

The UK, like all member states, has an obligation to ensure that any F-gas certificates issued in future cover the changes that have been introduced by the 2014 regulations – such as the different leak checking requirements and knowledge of the phase down timetable and new specific bans –  some of which come in from January 2015. Both the CITB and City & Guilds F Gas Certificates will be updated in line with the changes to the knowledge element of the assessment in the required timescale so that anyone new to the industry taking their F Gas Certificate is up to date.

ACRIB reveals that the UK is still awaiting clarification on a number of points within the 2014 F Gas Regulation. These include the requirement for already F-gas certified individuals to have access to information regarding technologies to replace HFCS, and existing regulatory requirements for alternative refrigerants. There is also a clause in the new Regulations that says Member States have to make available training for anyone who wants to update their knowledge. The Commission is planning to carry out a review of existing legislation covering training for the safe-handling of alternative refrigerants and, if appropriate, submit a legislative proposal. The results of this review are expected in 2017.

The 2014 European F-gas Regulation 517/2014 is directly applicable in UK law. However UK legislation is needed to cover the compliance and enforcement measures. A draft of that legislation, which will repeal the previous UK F Gas Regulation, is due for consultation this autumn.

The full text of the 2014 European F Gas Regulation is available here.