Fluorinated greenhouse gases: New EU regulations governing refrigeration and air conditioning systems
As of July 2008 maintenance, installation and servicing by certified professionals only - self-installation no longer allowed
Refrigeration and air conditioning systems can be found virtually everywhere: in hotels, factories, and private households. If the systems contain more than three kilogrammes of fluorinated greenhouse gases as their coolant, they must be checked for leakage at least once a year, pursuant to Regulation (EC) Nr. 842/2006 governing certain fluorinated greenhouse gases. In future, only certified personnel may carry out these tests as well as installation, maintenance, and recovery of coolants. The much favoured independent installation of these units containing fluorinated greenhouse gases and bought at the DIY shop will no longer be permitted. This is part of a ruling by the European Commission (EU) of 2 April 2008 laid down in Regulation (EC) Nr. 303/2008 regarding minimum requirements in the certification of companies and personnel. The federal government is currently drafting a law on chemicals and climate protection so as to comply with the EU regulations. The new German ordinance must be finalised by 4 July 2008 and has been submitted to the Federal Council for deliberation. By means of the new law Germany aims to advance Item 23 in the Integrated Energy and Climate Programme of the German Government (IKEP) pertaining to fluorinated greenhouse gases.