High number of systems will come into F-Gas scope

The consultation - which covers the UK - will also assess the cost of the new legislation on UK businesses. The public consultation outlines in its Impact Statement that ‘the new EU Regulation is expected to lead to an extra 350,000 small systems requiring mandatory leak checking, 15,000 large systems requiring automatic leak detection and 60,000 refrigerated trucks and trailers being included in the leak checking regime.’

Fluorinated gases (F-gases) are powerful greenhouse gases which were largely introduced as replacements to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which damage the ozone layer. They are used in refrigeration, air-conditioning, insulation foams, electrical equipment, aerosol sprays, medical inhalers, solvents and fire extinguishers.

The first F-gas Regulation was adopted in 2006 and succeeded in stabilising EU F-gas emissions at 2010 levels. The new Regulation, which applies from 1 January 2015, strengthens the existing measures and introduces a number of far-reaching changes.

While the new EU legislation will already be directly applicable in UK law, new domestic legislation is needed to enforce the requirements; it will also continue to specify those organisations which provide training and certification in the UK.

The new domestic legislation will be similar in nature to the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2009, which it will revoke, and it will apply to England, Scotland and Wales, but only to Northern Ireland in relation to imports into and exports out of the customs territory of the EU.

This consultation focuses only on the new domestic legislation to enforce the EU Regulation and on the associated impact assessment; it does not cover the content of the EU Regulation itself, which was the subject of consultation in 2013. The consultation period ends on 20 January 2015.

Mike Taylor, technical director of Santia’s health and safety division said:

“While this legislative change looks set to offer potential new work for HVAC maintenance contractors, the addition of the 350,000 smaller systems is likely to require a major education process among end users who currently don’t have leak checking obligations, and also those in the transport industry who would be brought under the new Regulations.”

Santia is able to deliver health, safety and environmental risk management solutions and training for businesses and organisations across a wide range of industries.

Further details can be found on our website at http://santiaconsulting.com

Post date: 07 Jan 2015

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