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AREA: ‘Put pre-charge ban back on the F-Gas agenda’

Contractors’ association AREA has sent a letter alerting the national authorities in Europe of the consequences of dropping the ban on pre-charge equipment following a potential shift in F-Gas policy by Brussels.

AREA president Graham Fox believes that while the proposed ban has been retained in the Rapporteur’s report to the European Parliament, the European Council have focused increasingly on the overall F-Gas phase-down, failing to address the issue of non-professional installations.

The letter states: “There is now a clear risk that the compromise that will emerge from the discussions in the Council, and possibly from the ensuing negotiations with the Parliament, will leave the problem of non-professional installation unsolved.

“This would not only negatively impact on the environment – in contradiction with the objectives of the Regulation and its revision – but it would also harm the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contracting sector, the vast majority of which are very small companies, which employ some 230,000 people across the EU.”

Should the ban fail to become policy, AREA has called for the extension of the current regime on the delivery of fluorinated greenhouse gases in containers to include those gases pre-charged

in non-hermetically sealed equipment.

Mr Fox said: “AREA had originally lobbied the manufacturers to do this on a voluntary basis, without success. That made us look at alternative means of addressing the issue of non-professional installation, and formed part of our earlier position paper in our introduction to the proposal to ban pre-charging.”

The EC legal department was reported as having a problem with defining containers to include split systems, so AREA has made specific amendments to the wording regarding the holding of relevant certification for purchasing of refrigerants to include “whether in containers or pre-charged in hermetically sealed equipment.”

Mr Fox said: “This has been well received initially with our national authorities and we hope they will propose this at the working group meetings so that we retain the better (and easier) enforcement of the legal requirement for all systems containing f-gases. It does not interfere with any manufacturing processes, the concern that certain manufacturers raised to counter the Article 12 proposal, so we hope our proposals are widely received in a positive manner.”

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