DIRECTIVE 2006/40/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL OF 17 May 2006 relating to emissions from air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC
on mobile air conditioning (MAC) stipulated that, from 1 January 2011, MAC of new types of vehicles had to be filled with a refrigerant with low impact on climate (the Directive prohibits MAC systems designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases with a global warming potential higher than 150GWP). The Directive does not prescribe any refrigerant/system to fulfil this obligation.
Prior to 2011, fluorocarbon refrigerant HFO-1234yf had been identified for use in MAC systems to fulfil the obligations of this directive. However, in light of the exceptional circumstances concerning problems encountered by the producers in supplying this gas, the Commission accepted to refrain from launching infringement procedures in cases where vehicle production continued with HFC-134a until 31 December 2012.
By 1 January 2017 refrigerants with a GWP higher than 150 are banned for all new vehicles covered by the Directive and applies to motor vehicles of categories M1 and
N1 as defined in Annex II of Directive 70/156/EEC (passenger and light commercial vehicles).
The legal basis is Internal Market (Article 95 of EU Treaty) to ensure that vehicles can be marketed in all member states if they are type approved.
Since 2008, type-approval for new car models shall only be granted if the leakage of HFC-134a is be less than either 40 g/year in the case of a simple evaporator system or 60 g/year in the case of a dual evaporator system. From 2010 the same leakage limits applied for all new cars.
The global warming potentials defined in the Directive are those published in the third
assessment report adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2001 IPCC GWP values).
It should be noted that the GWPs referenced in the F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 are IPCC Fourth Assessment Report values, and the quantities of HFC refrigerant used for MAC are included in the cap and reduction of HFC quantities that can be placed on the market