Environmental Agency to expose non-compliant R134a distributors

Motor factors and garages are warned to comply with F-gas rules or risk prosecution

Environmental Agency to expose non-compliant R134a distributors
The Environment Agency will be making routine checks of MAC service centres to ensure that technicians are suitably qualified.

New campaign leaflets issued to motor factors and garages have warned F-gas suppliers, technicians and end users about their legal obligations to conform to recently updated legislation.

Highlighting the most recent changes, the Environment Agency last month announced that it will be making “routine checks” and that “those found to be operating illegally will face regulatory action which may include prosecution.”

An Environment Agency spokesperson told GW: “As the regulatory body for F-gases in England, we regularly organise campaigns to raise awareness and ensure compliance.

“The update that was sent to garages is part of our latest campaign.”

Failing to comply

However, some suggest that this latest campaign may have been triggered following complaints that a number motor factors and garages are failing to fully comply with the new rules, which were introduced in January of this year.

James McClean, managing director of Motorclimate and CompressorTech, said: “It’s not a level playing field, some factors are following the guidelines and some aren’t.

“The liability is on both sides, the garage should have a qualification and the motor factor has to keep a log to gather that information and ensure that the garage does have the qualifications required.”

It’s thought that a two part investigation to expose those who fail to meet regulations will take place during the next six months.

Mclean advises motor factors and garages to ensure that they comply with F-gas rules to avoid potential fines and prosecution, adding: “Do you want to be listed on the Environmental Agency’s wall of shame?”

Qualifications

Introduced earlier this year to strengthen existing measures and reduce fluorinated gasses, only technicians qualified to handle F-gas can service Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) that contain regulated F-gases.

Retailers selling F-gas refrigerant for the service of MAC systems in vehicles must now record the qualification details of the customer’s technicians. 

It is illegal to sell F-gas without receiving proof that it will be used by a qualified technician, preventing over-the-counter purchases to unqualified persons.

Garages must ensure that technicians who recover F-gas from a MAC system hold a suitable qualification in refrigerant recovery and must provide proof before F-gas can be purchased.

By 2030, the European Commission claim that January’s changes will cut the EU’s F-gas emissions by two-thirds compared with 2014 levels.

The reduction will contribute to the EU’s objective of cutting its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050.

Let us know if you are F-gas qualified or if you are due to undertake your training soon. How do you feel about non-compliant businesses that are getting away without accreditation, perhaps you have filed a complaint? Leave your comments below and share your thoughts on F-gas legislation. 

14 Comments

  1. totally agree, however why are otlets like halfords still allowed to sell “top up” cylinders to the public, these are a big problem and make the legislation a total dissaster

    Reply
    • Yes it is, I have a Snap On Charger, You put on the Two pipe connectors and use the Key pad to enter all the details and away to machine goes, an alarm goes off if something is wrong, Where are the dangers of exposing Gas to atmosphere when you have this set up. You have no real contact with the gas. Where as Jo Blogs could very easily just spray the bottle in and I comes straight out of a broken pipe.

      Reply
  2. totally agree, however why are otlets like halfords still allowed to sell “top up” cylinders to the public, these are a big problem and make the legislation a total dissaster

    Reply
    • Yes it is, I have a Snap On Charger, You put on the Two pipe connectors and use the Key pad to enter all the details and away to machine goes, an alarm goes off if something is wrong, Where are the dangers of exposing Gas to atmosphere when you have this set up. You have no real contact with the gas. Where as Jo Blogs could very easily just spray the bottle in and I comes straight out of a broken pipe.

      Reply
  3. Yep agree with the comments we also have just payed for a tech to gain his Fgas cert. A constant drain on compliant garages whilst the rules are there to be exploited.

    Reply
  4. Yep agree with the comments we also have just payed for a tech to gain his Fgas cert. A constant drain on compliant garages whilst the rules are there to be exploited.

    Reply
  5. this law on refigrent etc does not make any sense to me….as a normal punter can walk into a Halfords and buy over the counter re-charge kits and use them at home…where is the regulation on that…seems like another ridiculous law from the eu which garage owners have to comply by and which also costs them a lot of money

    Reply
  6. this law on refigrent etc does not make any sense to me….as a normal punter can walk into a Halfords and buy over the counter re-charge kits and use them at home…where is the regulation on that…seems like another ridiculous law from the eu which garage owners have to comply by and which also costs them a lot of money

    Reply
  7. Absolutely stinks, any person as you say can buy the refill off ebay & do their own. Also Brakes is another one. any old person can fit there own, even though a car is a mobile death machine if not fixed right. But to be able to do house electrics or any gas work etc you have to be a qualified gas fitter / electrician !!!

    Reply
  8. Absolutely stinks, any person as you say can buy the refill off ebay & do their own. Also Brakes is another one. any old person can fit there own, even though a car is a mobile death machine if not fixed right. But to be able to do house electrics or any gas work etc you have to be a qualified gas fitter / electrician !!!

    Reply
  9. We always try to educate our customer that any leak has to be fixed before refilling the system, unfortunately whilst the national chains sell a “RE Gas” for peanuts we are banging our head against a brick wall, until the consumers conception is changed and they become educated these rogue traders will be able to saturate the market place and continually steal business from the people trying to do a proper and legally correct job.
    We now market air con leak repair and diagnosis rather than servicing.

    Reply
  10. We always try to educate our customer that any leak has to be fixed before refilling the system, unfortunately whilst the national chains sell a “RE Gas” for peanuts we are banging our head against a brick wall, until the consumers conception is changed and they become educated these rogue traders will be able to saturate the market place and continually steal business from the people trying to do a proper and legally correct job.
    We now market air con leak repair and diagnosis rather than servicing.

    Reply
  11. I am glade I am out of it now its all down to cost if someone on can get a regas for £45 they will there are balder things out there other lanen bit of A/c in there in the air every one should just lighten up

    Reply
  12. I am glade I am out of it now its all down to cost if someone on can get a regas for £45 they will there are balder things out there other lanen bit of A/c in there in the air every one should just lighten up

    Reply

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