After a draft version was leaked in September, the European Commission finally published its official proposal for a revision of Regulation 642/2006 on certain fluorinated gases on 7th November 2012. The proposal includes an ambitious phase-down scheme (gradual reduction of the placing on the market of fluorinated greenhouse gases) leading to nearly 80% reduction by 2030 of the 2008 – 2011 average annual quantities produced/imported.
The Commission proposes to complement this phase-down with 3 types of bans: bans on the sales of hermetically-sealed systems, bans on the use of HFCs > 2500 GWP for servicing and maintenance after 2020 and a ban on the pre-charging of non-hermetically sealed air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump equipment.
In addition, certification would be limited to five years and both its acquisition and renewal would involve compulsory training, which would include technologies using alternative refrigerants (natural refrigerants and HFOs).
Finally, the thresholds would be expressed in CO2-equivalent instead of kilogrammes in order to reflect the different global warming potentials of the various f-gases. It is to be noted that the Commission would be empowered to change the Regulation substantially thanks to many delegations of powers, notably through delegated acts.
Compared to the draft version that was leaked in September, the final proposal softens the ban on equipment, makes certification stricter (notably through mandatory training) and slightly delays the ban on pre-charging.
A copy of the EU Commission’s Draft Proposal 643 (2012) for the revision of the existing F-gas Regulation 842(2006) is available here.
The same web page provides links to various other resources including a press release, Q&A, Impact Assessment Report and a “Citizens Summary”.