EU F-Gas regulations – Training and Certification Requirements for Mobile Air-Conditioning Systems

Training and Certification Requirements for Mobile Air-Conditioning Systems

This guidance is for organisations affected by the 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation (517/2014). The F-Gas
Regulation creates controls on the use and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gases)
including HFCs, PFCs and SF6. The 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation replaces the 2006 Regulation,
strengthening all of the 2006 requirements and introducing a number of important new measures.

Training and certification is an important feature of the F-Gas Regulation as it ensures that technicians
understand how to minimise emissions during installation, maintenance and at end-of-life of
equipment containing F-Gases.

This Information Sheet describes the requirements that apply to training and certification related to:

-Mobile air-conditioning (MAC) using HFC refrigerants

Please note that the requirements for MAC systems are not the same as those that apply to stationary
refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump systems and to refrigerated trucks and trailers).

Types of MAC System


Mobile air-conditioning systems fall into 2 groups:

a) Vehicles covered by the EU MAC Directive 40/2006. This includes to motor vehicles of
categories M1 and N1 as defined in Annex II of Directive 70/156/EEC. These categories
include cars and light vans.

b) MAC in all other vehicles including lorries, buses and trains.

Personnel Training – General Requirements for MAC
Activities covered by personnel training requirements
Personnel involved in recovery of F-Gases from MAC equipment require appropriate training.
Recovery of refrigerant may be required during maintenance of MAC systems (e.g. prior to replacing
a component such as the compressor) or at end-of-life of the MAC system.

Types of training required


For MACs in vehicles covered by the MAC Directive there are detailed requirements of the required
training and attestation.

For MACs in other vehicles, the Regulation states “F-Gas recovery shall be carried out by appropriately
qualified natural persons”. Currently no further details are provided. Until the European Commission
define further requirements it is reasonable to assume that appropriate training is either that required
for vehicles covered by the MAC Directive or the more comprehensive requirements for stationary
refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Validity of existing personnel certificates


Existing certificates issued in accordance with the 2006 EU F-Gas Regulation remain valid, in
accordance with the conditions under which they were originally issued.

Personnel Training and Certification – Specific Requirements for MAC


For MACs in vehicles covered by the MAC Directive, the detailed scope of training is defined in a
European Commission Regulation published to support the 2006 F-Gas Regulation. This Regulation is
still valid. The relevant training Regulation is:
– Regulation EC/307/2008 Mobile air-conditioning

Scope of personnel training


The MAC qualifications under EC/307/2008 must cover the following areas:

– Operation of MAC systems containing F gas refrigerants,
– Environmental impact of F gas refrigerants,
– Environmental regulations,
– Refrigerant recovery.

Who should hold a personnel training certificate?


All technicians that carry out F-Gas recovery in vehicles within the scope of the MAC Directive must
hold an F-Gas handling attestation based on EC/307/2008. This requirement applies both to in-house
staff and to personnel employed by external contractors and service companies.

An appropriate qualification for personnel working on these systems can only be awarded by an
approved certification and evaluation body. These are bodies that have been approved by the UK
Government, as detailed in GB Statutory Instrument 261/20091

UK Personnel Attestation Bodies for MAC


Qualifications that meet the minimum requirements defined by the EC F gas Regulation have been
developed and are available from the following three awarding bodies:

– City and Guilds of London Institute,
– Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI),
– The Institute of Road Transport Engineers (Irtec) – no qualifications available.

Personnel can also have a European qualification recognised under the mutual recognition provisions.

Other Related Information


NEW Purchase of F-Gases

The F-Gas Regulation states that:

“Bulk supplies of F-Gases shall only be sold to and purchased by undertakings that hold the
relevant certificates or attestations”

Companies selling F-Gases will need to screen their customers to ensure compliance with this
requirement. In most cases the required proof is a Company Certificate, however this requirement
does not apply to those working on MAC equipment, see Information Sheet 19 for further details
about customer screening.

Exemption from Personnel Certification

Trainee personnel are exempt for up to 1 year, but they must work under the supervision of
certificated personnel and must be enrolled on a relevant training course.
What is the status of a non-UK personnel qualification?

The EC F-Gas Regulation requires that Member States give mutual recognition to certification of
suitable qualifications from other EU countries. This will applies to certificates that meet the minimum
requirements specified in Commission Regulation EC/307/2008. The European Commission has
published a list of qualifications that meet the minimum requirements.

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).