The cooling industry has renewed calls for a national database to enable checking of F-gas certificates.
The calls come in the wake of promises of tighter scrutiny of compliance when the new F-Gas Regulation comes into force in January.
Delegates at ACRIB’s F-Gas conference were told by the Environment Agency that it was the duty of wholesalers to check their customers held the appropriate F-Gas company certification before selling them refrigerant, and equally that end-users needed to ensure that their contractors – and their subcontractors – were bona fide certificate holders.
Graeme Fox, representing European contractors’ body AREA, said: “You need an easier way to check the legality of someone who is trying to buy gas – and that the people who are coming in to service and repair systems are legally entitled to do so. Without a national database there is no way that they can do that.
“We have actually seen cases of companies claiming to be a B&ES member and certified by Refcom. What they had done was got hold of someone else’s Refcom F-gas certificate and put their own name on it.
It’s a very good case we have in the UK for getting Defra to provide the resources for a national database.”
Consultant Ray Gluckman agreed that more weight should be put on providing evidence of credentials: “A national database is something we can aspire to but we are not going to get it within the next few months and the new rules kick in on 1 January.
“My own view – and I am working with the Environment Agency and Defra to try and clarify this – the company certificate should be the primary certificate shown to prove you are able to buy gas. In almost all cases suppliers of gas have an account with the customer, even if it’s a cash customer.
I think the provision of a company certificate could be mandatory and then it would be a matter of the industry persuading Defra that one of its requirements of certification bodies is that they contribute to a national register.”
TO SUBSCRIBE TO RAC MAGAZINE AND READ ALL THE FEATURES IN THE DECEMBER ISSUE - CLICK HERE!