EU F-Gas regulations – Glossary


BV: Burning velocity

CFC: Chlorofluorocarbon

CO2e: Carbon dioxide equivalent

DIY: Do-It -Yourself

DME: Dimethyl ether

F-Gas: Fluorinated gases

FPS: Fire protection system

GHG: Greenhouse gas

GIS: Gas insulated switchgear.

GWP: Global warming potential

HC: Hydrocarbon

HCFC: Hydrochlorofluorocarbon

HFC: Hydrofluorocarbon

HFE: Hydrofluoro-ether

HFO: Hydrofluoro-olefin

HoC: Heat of Combustion

LFL: Lower flammability limit

MAC: Mobile air-conditioning

MDI: Metered dose inhaler

MIE: Minimum ignition energy

NF3: Nitrogen trifluoride

OCF: One component foam

ODS: Ozone depleting substance

OEM: Original equipment manufacturer

PFC: Perfluorocarbon

PU: Polyurethane

RACHP: Refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment

RTT: Refrigerated trucks and trailers

SF6: Sulphur hexafluoride

UFL: Upper flammability limit

VRV: Variable refrigerant volume

VRF: Variable refrigerant flow

XPS: Extruded polystyrene


Attestation – Proof of qualification (the term attestation is used in the F-Gas Regulation
for qualifications related to mobile air-conditioning).

Automatic leak detection system – Calibrated mechanical, electrical or electronic device for detecting
leakage of F-Gases which, on detection, alerts the operator or a service company of any leakage.

Central pack systems – A type of refrigeration system, mainly used in large supermarkets. A
number of retail display cases is connected to a remotely located set of refrigeration compressors (the “pack”) and an externally located condenser system.

Certificated technicians – Individuals that have undertaken appropriate training so they are qualified to undertake work with F gases on specified equipment.

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) – A family of chemicals consisting of chlorine, fluorine and carbon. CFCs were historically used in various applications such as refrigeration, foam blowing, and aerosols. Now completely banned under the EU Ozone Regulation. CFCs have very high global warming potentials.

CO2 equivalent (CO2e) – A quantity of greenhouse gas, expressed as the product of the weight of
the greenhouse gas in metric tonnes and the global warming potential of the gas.

Commercial use – Used for the storage, display or dispensing of products, for sale to end
users, in retail and food services.

Company Certificate – Certification of an undertaking that requires the company to demonstrate
that they employ sufficient certificated technicians and that they use equipment and operating procedures that helps prevent F-Gas emissions. Company Certificates are required by all undertakings carrying out installation or servicing of RACHP or FPS systems on behalf of 3rd parties. A Company Certificate is required by sole traders as well as larger companies.

Competent authority – Body that can enforce the F-Gas Regulation. In the UK the competent authority is the Environment Agency.

Condensing units – A type of refrigeration system, mainly used in small commercial applications. The evaporator serving a cooling load (e.g. a retail display or a walk-in cold room) is connected to a remotely located condensing unit, which consists of a compressor and condenser.

Decommissioning – Means the final shut-down and removal from operation or usage of a product or piece of equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Declaration of conformity – A legally verifiable document provided by a manufacturer, or his authorised representative. It shows that a product meets all the necessary requirements laid down in the applicable EU Directives. It can be used to indicate that imports of equipment pre-charged with HFCs have used HFCs sourced from the EU quota system.

Destruction – Means the process of permanently transforming or decomposing all or most of a fluorinated greenhouse gas into one or more stable substances that are not fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) – A form of closed cell insulating foam. Feedstock Any F-Gas, or other substance listed in Annex II of the EU F-Gas Regulation, that undergoes chemical transformation in a process in which it is entirely converted from its original composition and its emissions are insignificant.

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (FGases)The greenhouse gases listed in Annex I of the F-Gas Regulation, or mixtures containing any of those substances. The gases include HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

Gas insulated switchgear (GIS) – Equipment that uses SF6 as an insulating gas in high voltage electrical applications.

Global warming potential (GWP) – The climatic warming potential of a greenhouse gas relative to that of carbon dioxide, calculated in terms of the 100-year warming potential of one kilogram of a greenhouse gas relative to one kilogram of CO2. The GWPs of relevant gases are listed in Annexes I, II and IV of the F-Gas Regulation. The GWP of mixtures is calculated in accordance with Annex IV.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) – A type of gas that makes a contribution to global warming if emitted to the
atmosphere. Most fluorinated gases including CFCs, HFCs, PFC and SF6 are very powerful GHGs.

Heat of combustion (HoC) – HoC is the energy released as heat when a compound undergoes
complete combustion with oxygen under standard conditions

Hermetically sealed – Equipment in which all fluorinated greenhouse gas containing parts are made tight by welding, brazing or a similar permanent connection, which may include capped valves or capped service ports that allow proper repair or disposal, and which have a tested leakage rate of less than 3 grams per year under a pressure of at least a quarter of the maximum allowable pressure.

Hydrocarbons (HC) – A family of chemicals consisting of hydrogen and carbon. Certain HCs
(e.g. propane and butane) are used as low GWP alternatives to HFCs.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) – A family of chemicals consisting of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon. HFCs have very high global warming potential.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – A family of chemicals consisting of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. HCFCs are ozone depleting substances and have been phased out in the EU. HFCs have very high global warming potentials.

Hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs) – HFOs consist of the same chemical elements as HFCs (i.e. hydrogen,
fluorine and carbon). HFOs are unsaturated molecules (i.e. they have a double bond between 2 carbon atoms). This makes them less chemically stable than HFCs, resulting in very low GWPs. HFOs are being developed as possible alternatives to HFCs.

Incumbent quota holder – A holder of quota to sell HFCs in the EU market that placed HFCs on the market in the baseline period, 2009 to 2012.

Installation – Means joining two or more pieces of equipment or circuits containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases, with a view to assembling a system in the location where it will be operated, that entails joining together gas carrying conductors of a system to complete a circuit irrespective of the need to charge the system after assembly.

Letter of Assurance – A letter used during customer screening to provide certification details to
a seller of bulk F-Gases.

Lower flammability limit (LFL) – LFL is the minimum concentration of a gas or vapour that is capable of propagating a flame within a homogeneous mixture of that gas or vapour and air.

Maintenance or servicing – Means all activities that entail breaking into the circuits containing or
designed to contain F-Gases, in particular supplying the system with fluorinated greenhouse gases, removing one or more pieces of circuit or equipment, reassembling two or more pieces of circuit or equipment, as well as repairing leaks.

Metered dose inhaler (MDI) – Medical aerosol used to dispense certain drugs (e.g. inhalers for asthma

Military equipment – Mean arms, munitions and war material intended specifically for military purposes which are necessary for the protection of the essential interests of the security of Member States.

Mobile – Normally in transit during operation.

Mobile air-conditioning (MAC) – An air-conditioning system operating in any form of vehicle, including cars, buses, lorries, trains, boat and aircraft.

Multi-pack central system – See “central pack system”.

New entrant quota holder – A holder of a quota to sell HFCs in the EU market that obtained quota via the new entrant mechanism.

Non-confined direct evaporation systems – A form of refrigeration system in which the coolant is a liquid that evaporates and is emitted into the atmosphere.

Novelty aerosols – A form of aerosol used for entertainment and decorative purposes, as listed in point 40 of Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006.

One component foam – A foam composition contained in a single aerosol dispenser in unreacted or partly reacted liquid state and that expands and hardens when it leaves the dispenser.

Ozone depleting substance (ODS) – Various chemicals, including CFCs and HCFCs that damage the ozone layer. Most are already completely phased out in the EU.

Operator – The natural or legal person exercising actual power over the technical functioning of products and equipment covered by the F-Gas Regulation; a Member State may, in defined, specific situations, designate the owner as being responsible for the operator’s obligations.

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) – A family of chemicals consisting of fluorine and carbon. PFCs are FGases
used in a few unusual applications such as electronic chip manufacture. They have very high GWPs.

Phase down – A process of reducing the amount of a chemical that can be sold on the EU market. HFCs are subject to a phase down in the F-Gas Regulation.

Phase out – A process of banning sales of a chemical on the EU market. Various ozone depleting chemicals including CFCs and HCFCs have been phased out in the EU under the EU Ozone Regulation.

Placing on the market – Supplying or making available to another party in the EU for the first time, for payment or free of charge, or using for its own account in the case of a producer, and includes customs release for free circulation in the Union.

Pre-charged – Equipment or products that are filled with an F-Gas during manufacture. Examples include aerosols, domestic refrigerators and some types of split system air-conditioning.

Primary refrigerant circuit of cascade system – The primary circuit in indirect medium temperature systems where a combination of two or more separate refrigeration circuits are connected in series such that the primary circuit absorbs the condenser heat from a secondary circuit for the medium temperature.

Quota system – The quota system that is being introduced under the F-Gas Regulation to control the phase down of HFC sales in the EU market

Reclaimed F-Gas – F-Gas that has been recovered from equipment and reprocessed to match the equivalent performance of a virgin substance, taking into account its intended use.

Recovered F-Gas – F-Gas that has been collected from products, including containers, and equipment during maintenance or servicing or prior to the disposal of the products or equipment.

Recycled F-Gas – F-Gas that has been recovered from equipment and given a basic cleaning process.

Refrigerated trucks – Motor vehicles above 3.5 tonnes and equipped with a refrigeration unit.

Refrigerated trailers – Vehicles designed to be towed by a tractor or truck and equipped with a refrigeration unit.

Registry – An electronic registry set up by the European Commission to monitor and control the HFC phase down.

Retrofill – Replacement of a high GWP refrigerant in a system with an alternative refrigerant that has a lower GWP.

Service Ban – A ban on the use of high GWP refrigerants for the servicing of existing refrigeration plants.

Signal horns – A type of aerosol.

Split system air-conditioning – Systems for room air conditioning that consist of one outdoor unit and one indoor unit linked by refrigerant piping, needing installation at the site of usage.

Stationary – Not normally in transit during operation and includes moveable room airconditioning

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) – An F-Gas used in a few unusual applications such as magnesium smelting and high voltage electrical switchgear. SF6 has the highest GWP of all FGases.

Technical aerosol – An aerosol used in maintaining, repairing, cleaning, testing, disinsecting
and manufacturing products and equipment, installing equipment, and in other applications.

Upper Flammability Limit (UFL) – UFL is the maximum concentration of a gas or vapour that is capable of propagating a flame within a homogeneous mixture of that gas or vapour and air.

Virgin refrigerant – Means a refrigerant which has not previously been used.

The SRAC industry and the world as a whole, now understand that fluorinated gases have a potentially devastating global warming effect when released into the atmosphere.

F-Gas regulations have been implemented in order to contain, prevent and thereby reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

On 2nd April 2008, the Commission Regulation 303/2008 set out the requirements for a company certification scheme.

This scheme is specifically for businesses working with F-Gas refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases.

These F-Gas Certification requirements are in accordance with Article 5.1 of EC Regulations 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (the EC F-Gas Regulation).