CFC and HCFC Phase Out

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning CFC and HCFC Phase Out –Regulation EC2037/2000

The following is a summary of what we believe to be the key points from EC2037/2000 regulation. We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with all aspects of this regulation before deciding what action is appropriate to your business. Full details of this regulation can be found by following the following link: http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file29101.pdf.

CFC Based Refrigerants

All CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) based refrigerants have been banned from use in new equipment since 1st October 2000 and banned from use in the maintenance of existing equipment since 1st January 2001. Typical refrigerants affected are R11, R12, R13, R113, R114, R115, R500, R502 & R503

HCFC Based Refrigerants (Ozone Depleting Substances)

HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) based refrigerants and HCFC refrigerant blends have been banned from use in new equipment since 1st July 2002 for most commercial and domestic air conditioning systems and banned from use in ‘heat pump’ systems since 1st January 2004. Typical refrigerants affected are (pure) R22, R123 and (blends) R401A &B, R402A&B, R403A&B, R406A, R408A, R409A&B & R411B New HCFC based refrigerants can only be used for the maintenance of existing systems until 31st December 2009. Recycled HCFC based refrigerants can only be used for the maintenance of existing systems until 31st December 2014 (subject to review in 2008).

Despite not being covered by the European F Gas Regulation No 842/2006, CFC and HCFC refrigerants are required by law to be leak tested under the same schedule as HFC refrigerants. A full copy of the applicable regulation (EC2037/2000) can be found at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file29101.pdf.

Ozone Depleting Substances Phase Out

This has been split in to two categories based on system type:

Cat 1 systems, mass produced hermetically sealed systems such as fridges, freezers, small retail displays and portable units usually remain leak free for their normal lifespan (~20 years) and must be disposed of correctly at the end of their useful life.

Cat 2 systems, any equipment requiring on site assembly and regular routine maintenance such as split systems, centralised systems, industrial systems and water chillers. These products need a structured approach to phasing out, tailored to the requirements of your company / application. The DTI publish a guide containing a recommended structural approach detailing all the options available. This is available free of charge from http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file29101.pdf

In summary, any system using HCFCs requiring major repair procedures (replacement compressor, heat exchange coils, main control PCB’s etc) should be considered for replacement. The mode of failure indicating that the system is reaching the end of its useful life, and with the imminent withdrawal of the required refrigerant type, further repairs will either be prohibitively expensive or not possible.

All systems containing CFC/HCFC based refrigerants with a charge of between 3kg and 30kg or over must be inspected for leakage by a qualified engineer an annual basis. Any repairs to leaks found must be re-tested within 1 month of the repair being completed.

This information is intended to make our customers aware of the main points of the regulations, it should not be relied upon as a definitive statement of the law and is not a substitute for legal advice. Interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts and we can accept no liability for any loss resulting from this information.