The F‑Gas Regulation EU 517/2014 requires F‑Gases to be provided in returnable containers. Indeed, via its Annex III (prohibitions), it bans 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.
The labelling requirements are now taken up in the F‑Gas Regulation EU 842/2006 and in implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2068, which repeals Commission Regulation (EC) 1494/2007.
The Commission may, by means of implementing acts, determine the format of the labels. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 24. The Commission shall also be empowered to adopt delegated acts amending the labelling requirements where appropriate in view of commercial or technological development.
What products and equipment must be labelled?
The F‑Gas Regulation (Art. 12) requires specific labelling for the following products and equipment, provided it contains, or if its functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases:
- refrigeration equipment;
- air-conditioning equipment;
- heat pumps;
- fire protection equipment;
- electrical switchgear;
- aerosol dispenser that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases, with the exception of metered dose inhalers for the delivery of pharmaceutical ingredients;
- all fluorinated greenhouse gas containers;
- fluorinated greenhouse gas-based solvents;
- organic Rankine cycles.
Products or equipment subject to an exemption granted by a Member State (see Article 11(3)), need to be labelled accordingly. They shall include a reference that their use is restricted to the purpose for which the exemption was granted.
Information to be put on the label:
- The wording ‘Contains fluorinated greenhouse gases’
- The accepted industry designation for the concerned F-Gas. If no such designation is available, the chemical name
- From 2017 onwards,
the quantity expressed in weight (kg) and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent of F-Gases contained in the product or equipment, OR
the quantity of F‑Gases for which the equipment is designed, AND
the GWP of those gases
- If applicable, a reference that the F‑Gases are contained in hermetically sealed equipment
- If applicable, a reference that the electrical switchgear has a tested leakage rate of less than 0,1 % per year as set out in the technical specification of the manufacturer
The above information shall be included in instruction manuals for the products and equipment concerned. In the case of products and equipment that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases with a global warming potential of 150 or more this information shall also be included in descriptions used for advertising.
Some specific cases:
|Category||To be included on the label|
|Reclaimed or recycled F Gas quantities||
|F-Gas quantities imported for destruction||‘Imported for destruction only’|
|F-Gas quantities being supplied by a producer or importer to an undertaking for direct export in bulk out of the Union||‘For direct bulk export outside EU only’|
|F-Gas quantities serving as feedstock||‘For feedstock use only’|
|F-Gas quantities which are to be used in military equipment||‘For use in military equipment only’|
|F-Gas quantities which are to be used for etching and cleaning purposes in semiconductor industry||‘For etching/cleaning in semiconductor industry only’|
|F-Gas quantities intended for the delivery of pharmaceutical ingredients in metered-dose inhalers (MDIs)||‘For MDI production only’|
|Reclaimed or recycled fluorinated greenhouse gases not containing any virgin fluorinated greenhouse gases||
Finally, for foams and pre-blended polyols that contain F‑Gases, each F-Gas should be identified using its accepted industry designation or, if no such designation is available, its chemical name. The label shall clearly indicate that the foam or pre-blended polyol contains F‑Gases. In the case of foam boards, this information shall be clearly and indelibly stated on the boards. This information shall also be included in instruction manuals for the products and equipment concerned.
In the case of products and equipment that contain fluorinated greenhouse gases with a global warming potential of 150 or more this information shall also be included in descriptions used for advertising.
When equipment is pre-charged with, or when its functioning relies upon, F‑Gases and such gases may be added outside the manufacturing site and the resulting total quantity is not defined by the manufacturer, the label shall contain the quantity charged at the manufacturing site, or the quantity for which it is designed, and shall provide space on the label for the quantity added outside the manufacturing site as well as for the resulting total quantity of fluorinated greenhouse gases
Technical Requirements for the labels
The information on a label shall stand out clearly from the background of the label and shall be of such size and spacing as to be clearly readable. Where the information required by this Regulation is added to a label already affixed to the product or equipment concerned, the font size shall not be smaller than the minimum size of other information on that label or on existing nameplates or on other product information labels.
The entire label and its contents shall be designed so as to ensure that it remains securely in place on the product or equipment and shall be legible under normal operational conditions, throughout the entire period during which the product or equipment contains fluorinated greenhouse gases.
The label shall be placed either:
- adjacent to the service ports for charging or recovering the fluorinated greenhouse gas; or
- on that part of the product or equipment that contains the fluorinated greenhouse gas;
- where possible, adjacent to existing nameplates or product information labels of the product or equipment that contains the fluorinated greenhouse gas.
The label shall be in the official languages of the Member State in which it is to be placed on the market
When a product containing F‑Gases or pre-blended polyols is also to be labeled pursuant to the REACH classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, the labelling required by the F-Gas Regulation shall be indicated in the section for supplemental information (see Article 25 of the CLP Regulation).
There are already a number of technical requirements for equipment and containers due to other legislation, e.g. WEEE Directive (for equipment) and ADR 2015 -European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (for containers).