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Companies confused over 3kg F-gas threshold

THE reason that many air conditioning and refrigeration companies have not attained full certification in compliance with the F-gas Regulations may be due to continued confusion over the 3kg threshold.
According to certification body Refcom, employers working with refrigerants mistakenly believe that they do not need to hold a full company certificate if they work only on small systems below the 3kg limit. As a result, they are not applying for full certification in compliance with the F-gas Regulations, despite the deadline for full certification having passed on July 4.

'This is a serious misconception that needs to be clarified,' says Refcom secretary Steve Crocker.

'The bottom line is that the 3kg limit is only applicable to leak checking. A company undertaking installation, servicing or maintenance on stationary rac equipment containing or designed to contain F-gases (less than 3kg or not) must hold a company certificate. Failure to do so is a breach of the F-gas regulations. It's that simple.'

Businesses need a Company Certificate if they employ personnel to undertake installation, servicing or maintenance on stationary acr equipment that contains or is designed to contain F-gases, regardless of the equipment's system charge.

If personnel undertake installation, servicing or maintenance activities on acr equipment (containing less than 3kg of F-gas), the individual needs to hold a minimum of a category II qualification. The higher Category I qualification would also cover them for this work.

A category III qualification is not sufficient for any service and maintenance work on equipment and only enables the holder to undertake recovery activities on acr equipment. A category IV qualification only enables the holder to undertake non-invasive leak checking activities on any size of system.

A Company Certificate is not required if only recovery work or leak checking activities are undertaken or 'to any manufacturing and repairing activity undertaken at manufacturers' sites for stationary refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pump equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases.'

Recent reports have suggested that fewer than 50% of companies have attained full certification.

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