UK: Refrigerant safe handling register Refcom has created a search facility on its website to allow refrigerant suppliers to check whether customers are properly F-gas certified.

Air conditioning and refrigeration engineers are required to present their F-gas certificate or an ACRIB SKILLcard when purchasing refrigerant. There have been reported incidents of counterfeit certificates and non-compliant plastic cards being used and, while refrigerant suppliers are legally required to ensure anyone buying gas from them is F-gas certified, it has previously been difficult to check whether certification is genuine and up to date.

As a result, Refcom has simplified the process by introducing a search facility on its website that allows suppliers to check customers’ credentials by both company name and/or F-gas certificate number.

Refcom maintains that ensuring the company name and certificate number match is a reliable method of establishing whether an operative is legally allowed to buy refrigerant gas. However, if the supplier finds a problem they are asked to contact the Refcom helpdesk to establish whether the company has chosen not to be publicly listed on the register or if the certificate is invalid.

Refcom was established in 1994 and appointed by the government as a certification body to provide the mandatory registration service for the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors. It now claims to account for more than 80% of company certificates covering the UK refrigerant handling market.

“This is a very important new feature,” said BESA’s senior mechanical engineer Graeme Fox. “Refcom has been pivotal in efforts to drive up professional standards across our industry and ensure we continue to manage the safe handling of F-gases. However, we are not complacent and continually monitor the situation to ensure nothing undermines the rigour and integrity of the F-gas scheme – such as failure to produce valid certification details when buying refrigerants.

“The easiest way for someone to prove their credentials is to show their original certificate or their ACRIB SKILLcard, which is the only legally compliant portable proof of F-gas certification and operator competency,” he added.

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