IGA News

Important Update About the Purchase of F-gases

Important Update About the Purchase of F-gases

29 October 2015

DEFRA confirms F-gas can be sold to unqualified persons serving mobile systems

The UK government has confirmed that F-gas refrigerants (R134a) can be sold to unqualified persons servicing mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems.

Countermanding a previous notice, the UK Environment Agency has now announced that purchasing restrictions on refrigerants only apply to those recovering F-gases from mobile air conditioning systems.

In June, the Environment Agency notified the mobile air conditioning sector that, under the F-gas regulations, they could no longer purchase F-gas without demonstrating that it would be used by a qualified technician.

This, the agency said, would prevent the ‘over-the-counter’ purchases of F-gas without proven evidence of refrigerant recovery qualification.

According to the Environment Agency, this interpretation of the legislation was questioned by unnamed UK industry stakeholders.

DEFRA is said to have sought additional legal advice and, following further examination of the legislation, has concluded that such purchasing restrictions do NOT apply for the servicing of mobile air conditioning systems.

The purchasing restrictions only apply for the recovery of F-gases from mobile air conditioning systems.

In the new statement DEFRA declares:

“Therefore, the UK Government believes that it remains legal to sell F-gases for use in mobile air-conditioning systems to those who do not hold recovery qualifications.

“Such F-gas products must, nevertheless, still comply with the provisions of the 2014 Regulation, which requires that they are only sold in refillable containers (Article 11(1) and Annex III) with suitable provision having been made for its return for refilling.”

The latest definition also allows car accessory shops to continue selling auto air conditioning “recharge” kits to the general public.

To comply with the regulations a fully refundable deposit is charged on the canister by auto accessory shops.