7 November 2012

EU drops plans to ban HFCs in commercial refrigerators

EUROPE: Many of the product bans threatened in the leaked F-gas revision document have been relaxed in the official revision document published today.
Supermarkets in particular will heave a sigh of relief as proposals to ban high GWP refrigerants in non-hermetic commercial and industrial refrigeration systems have been dropped. In addition the ban on high GWP HFCs has been raised from 2150 to 2500 and phase out dates have been changed.

The use of HFCs in new domestic refrigerators will be banned from January 1, 2015. In commercial, hermetically-sealed retail and food service refrigerators and freezers, a placing on the market ban now comes in on January 1, 2017 (a stay of execution of two years from the earlier leaked document) and now applies to all refrigerants with a GWP over 2500.

Further, the total ban on HFCs in these hermetic commercial units by January 1, 2017, has been dropped. Instead, presumably to take account of new low GWP HFC and HFOs, it will now only apply to HFCs with a GWP of 150 or more and will not come in until January 1, 2020.

Proposals to ban all commercial and industrial systems using high GWPs between 2016 and 2020 have now been dropped.

The proposed phase-down dates included in the leaked document remain as does a ban on the supply of pre-charged equipment.

Industry bodies are still digesting the contents and have so far been unable to comment.

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