New F-gases Regulation: an ambitious

Regulation (EC) No. 842/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 17, 2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) entered into force on July 4, 2006. It shall apply with effect from July 4, 2007 in the 25 European Member States. The Regulation covers the use of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 in all their applications except mobile air conditioning, covered by the Directive 2006/40/EC - see the Focus of the Newsletter of the IIR No. 26 - and domestic refrigerators. Key measures of the Regulation: - reinforced containment in the following applications: refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump; in particular, equipment containing 3 kg of F-gases or more shall be "checked for leakage" at least once a year; - restriction of handling of fluids and equipment to certified operators, who are responsible for the proper recovery of F-gases; -requirement by March 31, 2008 for each producer, importer and exporter of F-gases to communicate to the European Commission (EC) and the Member States precise data enabling the setting up of a reporting system for F-gas emissions per sector; Other measures include the labelling of equipment containing F-gases and the prohibition of placing on the market certain equipment containing F-gases such as non-refillable containers. Certain Member States adopted stricter national provisions regarding such prohibitions as of December 31, 2005 (e.g. Austria and Denmark); these countries may maintain these national measures until December 31, 2012. Several practical aspects regarding the implementation of this Regulation are to be specified by July 4, 2007, especially the standard leakage checking requirements and the notification of the minimum requirements regarding training and certification and the conditions for mutual recognition by Member States. Penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation are to be laid down by Member States by July 4, 2008. The objectives of the EC, thanks to this Regulation and Directive, are to reduce the emissions of F-gases of 20% by 2012 compared with 1995 levels. This is a higher goal than the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol: reduction by 2008-2012 of 5.2% of emissions of all greenhouse gases with respect to the levels of 1990. However, according to the EC, this Regulation is to be considered as a first step. By December 31, 2007, at the latest, a review of the Regulation and the publishing of a report are foreseen. The Commission shall, "if appropriate", accompany this report with legislative proposals by December 31, 2008, with a view to applying the provisions on containment to air-conditioning systems (not mobile) and refrigerated transport. By July 4, 2011, the Commission shall publish a report based on the experience of the application of this Regulation, using data from the new reporting system for F-gas emissions. In particular, this report will assess the effectiveness of containment measures carried out by operators and assess whether maximum leakage rates for installations can be established. Extension of prohibition of placing on the market to further equipment containing F-gases "taking into account energy efficiency", is envisaged. For further information and access to the whole text of the Regulation and Directive: