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AREA publishes minimum training for low GWP gases

EUROPE: The European air conditioning and refrigeration contractors association, AREA, has published what it sees as minimum requirements for the training and certification of contractors working with low GWP refrigerants.
Published in the wake of the leaked F-gas proposal document which suggested mandatory training for contractors working with 'natural refrigerants' AREA says 'Whilst the use of alternative refrigerants is expected to grow further as a result of EU legislation, European RACHP contractors wish to recommend a harmonised set of competences to ensure safe and efficient handling of these refrigerants.'

Last year AREA released guidance on use of low GWP refrigerants in RACHP systems and basic competence requirements for contractors handling these gases. It says the present document comes as a complement and can serve as a basis for the development of a future harmonised scheme in the EU.

Marco Buoni, vice president of AREA, coordinated the creation of the guidance commented: 'This document is a natural development of the work we have done on low GWP refrigerants in the past two years, notably as regards competence of contractors. Common requirements would ensure uniformity of expertise throughout the European Union. As the voice of European RACHP contractors, AREA is best placed to set these requirements.'

AREA's guidance is based on the F-Gas requirements set out in Regulation 303/2008. As Mr. Buoni points out 'It is not our intention to create a new certification scheme - only to add specific modules to the existing HFCs certification scheme'

'Training and certification will be under discussion in the coming months with the imminent publication of the European Commission's proposal for a revision of the F-Gas Regulation. AREA has already made its position clear. 'As a responsible industry and to ensure safe and efficient handling of low GWP refrigerants, we advocate compulsory certification for contractors. Additional training may be required to achieve the mandatory certification.'

The document can be found here: www.area-eur.be

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