AREA has issued concrete proposals on the extension of the F-gas certification scheme to alternative refrigerants. The proposals are based on the concept of ‘alternative refrigerant greenhouse gases’ that would make it possible to capture most alternative refrigerants whilst respecting the legal scope of the F-gas Regulation. AREA pleads for mandatory certification on alternative refrigerants as a necessary complement to the existing F-gas provisions in order to ensure safe and efficient handling of these refrigerants that are gradually replacing fluorinated greenhouse gases.
A couple of months ago, AREA alerted on the very low level of training on alternative refrigerants among F-gas trained personnel. It also announced that its experts were working on concrete proposals on mandatory certification on alternative refrigerants, including minimum requirements. Now the association has released a comprehensive set of proposals. These are based on the concept of ‘alternative refrigerant greenhouse gases’. Graeme Fox, Chairman of the Refrigerants Working Group, said: “It makes sense to work on the basis of the current F-gas Regulation that already has an established training and certification scheme. Introducing the concept of ‘alternative refrigerant greenhouse gases’ makes it possible to include most low GWP alternative refrigerants in the environment scope of the existing F-gas legislation. This is essential to avoid reinventing the wheel and delaying the process with a separate legal framework.”
AREA’s proposals consist of 3 blocks:
- Proposed amendments to the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014: introduction of the concept of ‘Alternative refrigerant greenhouse gases’ and modifications to Article 10 on training and certification
- Proposed amendments to the core text of Implementing Regulation 2067/2015: inclusion of alternative refrigerant greenhouse gases, modification of company certification
- An updated set of minimum competence requirements (Implementing Regulation 2067/2015, Annex I) based on state-of-the-art standards EN 13313 (ISO/DIS 22712): next to the existing categorisation of F-gas certification for persons, introduction of new categories for alternative refrigerant greenhouse gases, flammables (small and large systems), CO2
AREA President Marco Buoni said: “These proposals are the result of a fantastic collaborative exercise that mobilised many experts and leading trainers among the 25 AREA members from 22 European countries. Mandatory certification on alternative refrigerants is a major issue for our industry and we wanted to make sure we would not just make requests but actually come forward with concrete and constructive suggestions. I believe our proposals are solid. They are an essential and much needed step forward for the European Union, which could also be taken as an example globally. I look forward to discussing the details with the European Commission and other stakeholders.”
The proposals will feed in the ongoing consultation process in preparation for the revision of the F-Gas Regulation.
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