Your F-gas questions answered4th December 2014
The new European F-Gas regulations coming in on January 1 will have an immediate impact. The changes range from the way we purchase refrigerant, through leak detection to phase-out of high GWP refrigerants. To guide you through the regulations wholesaler HRP has launched an information website and blog led by F-Gasman.
The Cooling Post has been provided with direct access to F-Gasman and the experts at HRP who have agreed to help with any answer any questions or allay any concerns you have about the new F-gas regulations.
Over the coming weeks this page will be expanded, so drop-in regularly for the latest updates.
If you have any questions for F-Gasman use the comment box at the bottom of this page or visit www.fgasman.co.uk.
Q. Is it true that I may not be able to buy refrigerant in January? I’ve read something about having to prove I am registered.
A. From 1 January 2015 the law requires supplier of refrigerant gas to make certain that they are selling to contractors who are trained and qualified in handling F-gases. Any supplier must be able to prove that they have seen evidence of certification by Refcom, Quidos or another registration body from within the EU before supplying refrigerant.
So that does mean that anyone arriving at a trade counter to buy refrigerant after Jan 1 without evidence of refrigeration may not be supplied.
Suppliers like HRP will be asking all their regular account customers to record all the details required to be held with their account records so that purchase can go smoothly without the need for checking registration every time.
Q. What do I need to get my registration?
A. For registration an engineer must hold either the City & Guilds 2079 Category 1 or CITB J11 qualifications. A business must have sufficient qualified engineers to make sure that refrigerants are properly handled.
With tightening regulations, it is likely that there will be a shortage of course places so HRP’s training teams are laying on extra courses round the country.
Q. Who can purchase refrigerants?
A. The regulations state that distributors can only supply refrigerants to companies who can prove that they are certified to handle F-gases. This means registration of the company with Refcom, Quidos, Bureau Veritas or other relevant EU bodies.
Q. What about sole traders?
A. A sole trader will still have to have a company registration even if they are personally qualified and registered for F-gas purchase. It is now a criminal offence to carry out activities that install, service, maintain stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and or heat pump equipment containing or designed to contain F Gas refrigerants without a Company Certificate. It is illegal for a distributor to supply refrigerants without evidence of a certificate
Q. Can a driver or storeman collect the gas?
A. Yes, provided the company is registered and has supplied the required information to HRP, an employee with proper authorisation can collect F-gas cylinders
Q. Do I need F-gas certification if I only use AC splits pre-charged with gas
A. Yes. You will be responsible for the installation integrity and pressure and leak checks. In some instances you may be required to add or remove refrigerant from a pre-charged system and to do so without the correct qualification would be unlawful.
Q. As it is now a criminal offence to carry out activities that install, service, maintain stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and or heat pump equipment containing or designed to contain F Gas refrigerants without a Company Certificate, Will it be an offence for suppliers to supply split systems to anyone without an F-gas certificate?
A. Yes, it is illegal to supply/sell pre-charged split systems to someone without first being provided with the necessary F-gas qualification and the Company registration certificate. The exception to this rule would be if the customer provides a ” letter of assurance” that the split system will be installed by a qualified person/company in accordance with Article 10.
End Users or 3rd party purchasing on behalf of an end user (a facilities management company) can also purchase pre-charged split systems provided they supply a “letter of assurance” confirming that the installation will be installed by a suitable person/company. A contractor screened for bulk F-gas purchases will already and automatically be suitable for this requirement.
Do you have any questions regarding the new F-gas regulations? Use the comment box at the bottom of this page or visit www.fgasman.co.uk