July brings F-Gas Regulation deadlines across the EU

By R744.com team, Jul 08, 2011, 13:08 5 minute reading

4 July 2011 marked several official deadlines stipulated by the European F-Gas Regulation, with both individuals and companies now required to hold full F Gas Certificates and the European Commission expected to publish a report on the application of the regulation on the basis of which it could subsequently present proposals for revising it. Meanwhile, the climate protection opportunities inherent in tackling non-CO2 gases such as HFCs are increasingly being discussed in the European

As of the beginning of this week individuals and companies working within scope of the F Gas Regulation (Regulation No 842/2006) that carry out installation work and maintenance on refrigeration equipment using HFC refrigerants are required to hold an F Gas Certificate. This is the first time that individuals and companies alike must hold a full F Gas Company Certificate.

Interim certificates for personnel and companies in EU Member States that had opted to apply a system of interim certification expired on 4 July 2011. Hence, it is now an offence to continue working with an interim Personnel or interim Company Certificate after 4 July 2011.

Difficulties meeting 4 July 2011 certification deadline

The EU industry is facing difficulties meeting the 4 July 2011 deadline pertaining to certification.

In the UK for example, the RAC Magazine reported that one of the three F-Gas registration bodies, suspended following the arrival of the 4 July 2011 F-Gas deadline a total of 2,384 active companies with interim certificates, with a total of 5844 engineers. This leaves only 2,182 active companies with Full certification on the books of the registration body, accounting for 9,490 engineers.

Deadline for assessing the application of the F-Gas Regulation

4 July 2011 marks another deadline regarding an F-gas Regulation “Review”, as stipulated in Article 10 of the regulation. More specifically the European Commission is to publish a report based on the experience of the application of this Regulation. In particular, the report should among other issues:
  • Assess the impact of relevant provisions on emissions and projected emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases and examine the cost-effectiveness of these provisions;
  • Assess whether the inclusion of further products and equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases in Annex II (Placing on the market prohibitions) is technically feasible and cost-effective, taking account of energy-efficiency, and, if appropriate, make proposals to amend Annex II in order to include such further products and equipment;
  • Assess the need for further action by the Community and its Member States in the light of existing and new international commitments regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Evaluate the training and certification programmes established by Member States;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of containment measures carried out by operators and assess whether maximum leakage rates for installations can be established;
  • Assess the need for the development and dissemination of notes describing best available techniques and best environmental practices concerning the prevention and minimisation of emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases;
  • Include an overall summary of the development, both within the Community and at an international level, of the state of technology, in particular as regards foams, experience gained, environmental requirements and any impacts on the functioning of the internal market
Following this, the European Commission will present where necessary appropriate proposals for revision of the relevant provisions of the regulation.

At a 23 May 2011 meeting of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee exchange of views with Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner responsible for Climate Action the latter stated with regards to a possible revision of the regulation: "The review (of the F-Gas Regulation) mandated by the (current) regulation comprises two elements: a report reviewing the regulation and on that basis if appropriate a proposal to amend the regulation on f-gases. In fact my intention is that the European Commission adopts a report in the autumn and in my opinion the preliminary results of the review indicate that further steps are indeed needed. The European Commission is therefore preparing a thorough Impact assessment of policy options to work out the details of such a proposal. I expect that the European Commission can be ready with the proposal to strengthen the regulation before the summer next year."

Rising consensus on action needed to prevent f-gas emissions

At the same time, the issue the climate protection opportunities stemming from minimising f-gas emissions has been enjoying growing interest in discussions held at the European Parliament.
  • In an April 2011 letter sent to Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner responsible for Climate Action, MEPs Richard Seeber and Theodoros Skylakakis had asked the Commission to introduce a comprehensive approach towards the reduction of climate-relevant gas emissions, as it has been failing to address non-CO2 emissions, namely HFCs, black carbon and pollutant gases that lead to the formation of tropospheric - lower atmosphere - ozone.
  • Subsequently, the two MEPs put forward a draft motion for a resolution on a comprehensive approach for the non-CO2 climate-relevant anthropogenic emissions. The motion has been adopted by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee and will be subsequently considered for adoption by the full plenary in September 2011. More specifically the document urges the European Commission to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs through actions at the international and EU levels.
  • More recently (end June 2011), the European Parliament’s Environment Committee organised a ‘Workshop on Climate Change: Reduction of non CO2 emissions’ whereby scientific and institutional experts, the European Commission, representatives of the industry and of non profit organisations discussed the links between ozone depletion and climate change and the synergies across the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols.
  • Previously (March 2011), the European Parliament’s Environment Committee had held an exchange of views on ways to protect climate through the Montreal Protocol, with interested parliamentarians calling for concrete steps that Europe could take to ensure that HFC greenhouse gases are regulated at international level.

Background information on the EU F-Gas Regulation

The F-Gas Regulation, supplemented by 10 implementing acts, lays down specific requirements for the different stages of the whole life cycle of F-Gases, from the production to end of life. It aims to reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases through:
  • Better containment of F-Gases in their applications
  • Recovery of F-Gases from products and equipment reaching their end of life
  • Training and certification of technical personnel and companies working with F-Gases
  • Reporting of production, import and export data within the EU
  • Labeling of certain products and equipment containing those gases
  • The prohibition of placing on the market some products containing F-Gases and the control of use in some specific applications. 


By R744.com team (@r744)

Jul 08, 2011, 13:08

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