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The future is changing. We the refrigeration industry and you the customer have an obligation to be in the know and implement legislation.

Currently consultation on a new EEC regulation aimed at containment of HFC refrigerants is taking place. Once passed by the EEC, it will be necessary for the Government to introduce UK Legislation to implement the proposals and the earliest implementation date is likely to be during 2005. This proposed legislation is commonly known as the "F Gas Directive".

There will also be some need to harmonise the two regulations as they will need to co-exist for some time.

At present there is a complete ban on the use of CFC refrigerants for servicing and maintenance. These must be completely destroyed and alternatives used.

New Equipment

The previous ban on the use of HFC refrigerants had been extended to 1st January 2004 for manufacture of reversible air conditioning/heat pump systems. Existing stock only will continue to be available in the future.

Existing Equipment

1st January 2010
Ban on the use of Virgin HCFC's for maintenance of refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

1st January 2015
Ban on use of all HCFC's including re-cycled materials for servicing existing equipment.

These two dates are to be reviewed prior to 21st December 2008.

Recovery and Destruction

All CFC's and HCFC's must be recovered during maintenance. Any recovered CFC's must be destroyed by an approved technology.

Recovered HCFC's can be either destroyed or reused until 2015.

F Gas Directive

The aim of the regulations will be to prevent and minimise emissions of fluorinated gases. The key proposals are as follows:

Leakage Inspections

The mandatory inspection of all systems containing 3kg or more of refrigerant at the following frequency:

  • 3kg or more, annually
  • 30kg or more, four times a year
  • 300kg monthly

Maintenance of Records

The maintenance of records of refrigerant added or removed during installation and serviceing of equipment containing 3kg or more of HFC refrigerants.

Leak Detection Systems

Installation of leak detection systems for systems containing 300kg or more of refrigerant.


Recovery of HFC refrigerants for recycling, reclamation or destruction from all refrigeration systems.

Training and Certification

Introduction of training and certification program for all personnell involved in making inspections, recovery, recycling, reclamation and destruction of HFC refrigerants.

Automotive Air Conditioning Systems

The phasing out of R134a in new cars and small commercial vehicles from 1st January 2009 and ending 31st December 2013.

For further information please contact us, at
DIRECT COOLING LIMITED: Unit 17, Waterloo Court, Off Waterloo Road, Stalybridge, Cheshire, SK15 2AU UK   T: 0161 303 9028