European Commission F-Gas. What it means to the Motor Industry.

11th Oct 11 10:48<< Go back to news

European Commission F-Gas. What  it means to the Motor Industry.

F gases generated by mobile air conditioning accounts for 11% of the UK total 2005 F gas emissions. So whilst the quantity of F gas contained in a system is relatively small, usually less than 1 kilogram in each vehicle, the number of systems and their potential to leak makes them a cause for concern.

Air conditioning systems found in vehicles built after 1993 use HFC 134a as the refrigerant. The number of car air-conditioning systems has increased significantly since the late 1990s and, as the typical life of a vehicle is 12 years, most systems in existence use an HFC refrigerant.  There is to be a ban on the use of F gases in car air conditioning. This will be introduced through the EU MAC Directive 2006/40 which affects car manufacturers (for new vehicle types introduced after January 2011). 

The regulatory framework for F-gas covers the key applications in the way the gas is used and handled. The regulation entered into force on the 4th July 2006, with the MAC directive becoming European law on 4th July 2010; thus making it illegal for any person or persons not qualified or certificated to the required standard to either; work on, service or repair air conditioning systems fitted to motor vehicles and purchase refrigerant for any purpose whatsoever.

 Training and certification for individuals to handle F-gas currently apply to approximately 600,000 persons and 66,000 companies, analysis from the European Commission shows that a significant number of personnel and companies covered by the requirements were not certificated by July 2010. In the motor industry this accounts to more than 50% of all garages, who have air conditioning machines, who are still yet to be certificated. This is due to the low awareness among operators in particular operators of smaller equipment due to the deficiencies in enforcement of these provisions. However this is all about to change….

Member states are required to establish national rules on penalties applicable to infringements; due to the findings of the report the EU published last month, the commission called on member states to ‘intensify their efforts towards rapid implementation and enforcement’. With 30% of all gases exported from the EU coming from systems such as air-conditioning units in motor vehicles and the MAC Directive being identified as making it possible to avoid almost half of projected emissions by 2050, the government is set to increase their efforts in the regulation and hydrofluorocarbon usage within the motor industry.

There are several ways of attaining your F-Gas handling license; Auto education can offer a range of training courses from onsite VRQ’s, to the 2 day Automotive Technician Qualification (ATA) there’s a course to suit all, get certificated today! Courses range from £195 - £350 per person and run all year round. 

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