F-Gas Regulation 517/2014

F-Gas Regulation No 517 (2014) repeals the 2006 F-Gas Regulation, and applied from 1 January 2015.

The F-Gas Regulation protects the environment by reducing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases through:

  • rules on containment, use, recovery and destruction of fluorinated greenhouse gases, and on related ancillary measures;
  • restrictions on the placing on the market of specific products and equipment that contain, or whose functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases. The restrictions are shown here;
  • restrictions on specific uses of fluorinated greenhouse gases (servicing ban). The control of use serving ban is shown here; and
  • quantitative limits for the placing on the market of hydrofluorocarbons. The HFC phase-down schedule, shown here, reducing HFCs placed on the market by 2030 to 21% of the annual average of the total quantity placed on the market into the Union during the period from 2009 to 2012.

According to its impact assessment, the current F-gas Regulation 517/2014 intends to reduce the EU’s F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030 compared with 2014 levels. The Commission must explore a 50 – 55% reduction target for total GHG emissions under the climate law proposal. If the two-thirds reduction is achieved for HFCs and if total GHG emissions are reduced by 40 – 55% by 2030 then HFC emissions would then contribute about 1.1 – 1.5% to the total.

F-Gas Regulation Review: The European Commission has stated that a recast of the F-gas Regulation is likely by end of 2021.  Find out more about the review here

The F-gas Regulation is successfully driving change to lower GWP solutions

EFCTC supports the implementation and objectives of the EU F-Gas Regulation. The Regulation provide a predictable signal to the industries using F-gases and to those introducing/developing alternatives to F-gases. The EU HFC phase down has proven to be a powerful driver for the industry to transition towards lower GWP solutions. The phase down process has allowed industry to manage the reduction in the consumption of HFCs through the development of energy efficient, safe and affordable alternatives.  Illegal trade in HFCs has undermined the regulation’s implementation to a significant extent.

Illegal trade

in HFCs and how you can help prevent it here

Information

on the impact of the Regulation on the use of lower GWP refrigerants, insulation foam blowing agents and propellants in the applications pages

F-Gas Regulation 517/2014

What the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 has achieved

Resources

  • See the Commission website for the F-Gas Regulation, and guidance documents https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/f-gas_en
  • The F-Gas Regulation Implementing Acts can be accessed here  https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/f-gas/legislation_en#tab-0-1
  • Refrigerants subject to the F-Gas Regulation, classification, main applications and GWPs
  • Refrigerants subject to the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 – March 2020 Download
  • The Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) referenced in Annex I and Annex II of the F-Gas Regulation for fluorinated greenhouse gases are, where available, from the Fourth Assessment Report adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For more information, please consult ‘Learn about … Selecting and using GWP values for refrigerants’.
  • The GWPs for HFCs, HFOs and HCFOs from the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports are available here New table of Fluorocarbons updated October 2019 Download
  • Annex IV of the F-Gas Regulation METHOD OF CALCULATING THE TOTAL GWP OF A MIXTURE lists GWPs for a range of substances that may be used in blends with F-Gases. Where available these are from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. More information about the GWPs for hydrocarbons and their indirect GWPs is here.
  • F-Gas Logbook The logbook has been designed to help ensuring compliance with Art. 6 of the European F-Gas Regulation (EC) N°517/2014. It is an electronic tool for operators of equipment to facilitate their mandatory record- read more https://logbook.fluorocarbons.org/en/
  • EEA Annual Report on the F-Gas Regulation, Fluorinated greenhouse gases Data reported by companies on the production, import, export, destruction and feedstock use of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union. The latest report can be accessed here- check for the latest published version
  • https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/fluorinated-greenhouse-gases-2019
  • EPEE FAQs on F-Gas Regulation: EPEEF-GAS FAQS ENGLISH
  • AREA F-Gas GUIDE: A practical guide on the application of the F-Gas Regulation  to refrigeration, air conditioning & heat pump contractors
  • http://area-eur.be/sites/default/files/2016-11/AREA%20guidelines%20Fgas%20-%20Master%203%20%28FINAL%29.pdf
  • Gluckman Consulting EU F‑Gas Regulation Information Sheets
    http://www.gluckmanconsulting.com/f-gas-information-sheets/
  • Emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases in relation to production: Producers of fluorinated compounds are required to take all necessary precautions to limit emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases. This also applies where fluorinated greenhouse gases are produced as by-products. In addition, producers or importers must provide evidence, that trifluoromethane (HFC-23), produced as a by-product during manufacturing processes, has been destroyed or recovered for subsequent use, in line with best available techniques. The European Commission discussion paper on emissions of HFC-23( Article 7(2)) indicates that this is principally aimed at HFC 23 by-production as a result of HCFC 22 produced as a feedstock in the HFC and HFO production processes. EFCTC developed an example format to document the evidence required from suppliers.

The F-Gas HFC phase-down schedule

From EEA Report No 20/2019 Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2019 Data reported by companies on the production, import, export, destruction and feedstock use of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union, 2007-2018.

Placing on the Market Prohibitions (Annex III) Referred to in F-Gas Regulation Article11(1)

One of the major features of the 2014 F‑Gas Regulation are use bans where lower GWP alternatives are considered to be available.

01/01/2015

Domestic refrigerators and freezers that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more

01/01/2016

Fire protection equipment that contain HFC-23

01/01/2018

Technical aerosols that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more, except when required to meet national safety standards or when used for medical applications

01/01/2020

  • Refrigerators and freezers for commercial use (hermetically sealed equipment) that contain HFCs with GWP of 2500 or more
  • Stationary refrigeration equipment, that contains, or whose functioning relies upon, HFCs with GWP of 2500 or more except equipment intended for application designed to cool products to temperatures below -50°C
  • Movable room air-conditioning equipment (hermetically sealed equipment which is movable between rooms by the end user) that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more
  • Extruded polystyrene (XPS) foams that contains HFCs with GWP of 150 or more except when required to meet national safety standards

01/01/2022

  • Refrigerators and freezers for commercial use (hermetically sealed equipment) that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more
  • Multipack centralised refrigeration systems for commercial use with a rated capacity of 40 KW or more that contain, or whose functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 150 or more, except in the primary refrigerant circuit of cascade systems where fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP of less than 1500 may be used

01/01/2023

Foams, other than extruded polystyrene (XPS), that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more except when required to meet national safety standards

01/01/2025

Single split air-conditioning systems containing less than 3 kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases, that contain, or whose functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 750 or more

These bans are additional to those contained in the 2006 F-Gas Regulation

04/07/2006

Footwear that contains fluorinated greenhouse gases

04/07/2007

  • Non-refillable containers for fluorinated greenhouse gases used to service, maintain or fill refrigeration, air-conditioning or heat-pump equipment, fire protection systems or switchgear, or for use as solvents
  • Non-confined direct evaporation systems that contain HFCs and PFCs as refrigerants
  • Fire protection equipment that contain PFCs
  • Windows for domestic use that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases
  • Tyres that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases

04/07/2008

  • Other windows that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases
  • One-component foams, except when required to meet national safety standards, that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 150 or more

04/07/2009

Aerosol generators marketed and intended for sale to the general public for entertainment and decorative purposes, as listed in point 40 of Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, and signal horns, that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more

Important to note is that there are some exemptions to the bans:

  • Military equipment is exempted.
  • The prohibitions do not apply to equipment for which it has been established in ecodesign requirements that due to higher energy efficiency during its operation, its lifecycle CO2 equivalent emissions would be lower than those of equivalent equipment which meets relevant ecodesign requirements and does not contain hydrofluorocarbons.
  • Exemptions up to four years can also be accorded upon request by a competent authority of a Member State in case it can be demonstrated that for the specific product or piece of equipment no alternatives are available or cannot be used for technical or safety reasons, or in case the use of technically feasible and safe alternatives would entail disproportionate costs. Meanwhile the EU Commission is to collect some specific information from Member States with respect to replacement technologies using alternatives to fluorinated greenhouse gases in refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment and in foams.

 

Control of Use- Servicing Ban

From 1 Januray 2020, the use of F-Gases with a GWP ≥ 2500 to service or maintain refrigeration equipment with a charge size ≥ 40 tonnes of CO2 equivalent is prohibited.

There are, however, some exemptions to the servicing ban:

  • Military equipment
  • Equipment intended for applications designed to cool products to temperatures below -50 °C

In addition, the servicing ban is delayed until 1 January 2030 for:

  • reclaimed fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP ≥ 2500 used for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration equipment, provided that they have been adequately labelled (see Art.12)
  • recycled fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP ≥ 2500 used for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration equipment provided they have been recovered from such equipment. These may only be used by the undertaking which carried out their recovery as part of maintenance or servicing or the undertaking for which the recovery was carried out as part of maintenance or servicing.

What the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 has achieved

The F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 is a well-designed and successful regulation, resulting in development and implementation of lower GWP refrigerants and equipment. HFC-32, HFOs and HCFO and lower GWP blends of HFCs/HFOs are becoming the refrigerants of choice in new energy efficient equipment for many HVAC applications particularly where high flammability or high toxicity is unacceptable.

The widespread adoption of HFC-32 as a lower GWP replacement for R-410A in more energy efficient air-conditioning and heat pump equipment is possible due to the appropriate phase-down schedule. HFC-32, alone or in mixtures with other HFCs/HFOs is expected to continue to provide and optimum balance of performance and safety properties for many years beyond 2030. Other HFCs or HFC/HFO blends provide excellent performance for Organic Rankine Cycle waste heat recovery, an increasingly important application to reduce energy use.

The continued use of HFCs in important applications including new heat pumps with 80% of new heat pumps in 2019 containing HFC-410A, contributing to increased renewable energy use.

  • Increased use of low GWP HFCs, HFOs & HCFOs in more energy efficient equipment link to Transition to lower GWP refrigerants
  • Average GWP of HFCs/HFOs placed on the market continues to fall and reduced emissions of HFCs – link to Transition to lower GWP refrigerants
  • Good availability of HFCs for some important applications such as heat pumps
  • Availability and supply of high quality HFCs, HFC blends and HFOs from legitimate well-established suppliers
  • Maintain high levels of availability of HFC/HFO/HCFO refrigerants with appropriate safety benefits  link to valuable safety benefits of HFCs and HFOs
  • Increased focus on recycle and reclaim of HFCs, with reclaimed HFCs being used in new equipment.
  • A high level of compliance by HFC quota holders link to EEA 2019 F-gas report
  • For the F-gas Regulation, implementing regulations and guidance documents see https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/f-gas_en