Guidance

Bans on F gas in new products and equipment: current and future

Uses of fluorinated gases (F gases) that are banned or will be banned in the future.

You must not sell products or equipment containing banned F gases.

If you do sell these items, you could receive a civil penalty for breaking the law. For further information, see the Environment Agency enforcement sanctions policy

If you see a banned item for sale, report it to f-gassuport@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Refrigerants: F gases banned in new products

Type of F gas Banned uses Global warming potential Date of ban Exceptions from the ban
HFCs and PFCs Non-confined direct evaporation systems (where refrigerant can escape into the atmosphere). All Banned now None
HFCs Domestic fridges and freezers Above 150 Banned now None
HFCs Stationary refrigeration equipment Above 2,500 From 2020 Systems that cool products to below -50 degrees Celsius
HFCs – will mainly affect HFC134a, HFC245fa, HFC365mfc Refrigerant in a hermetically sealed system Above 150 From 2022 None
Any F gas Central pack systems with a rated cooling capacity of 40 kW or more. (Refrigerated display cases connected to a central system in a plant room or outdoors. Often in convenience stores or supermarkets.) Above 150 From 2022 Refrigeration systems used in industry, for example in chemical processes.

Insulating foam: F gases banned in new products

Type of F gas Banned uses Global warming potential Date of ban Exceptions from the ban
All F gases One component foam aerosols Above 150 Banned now None
HFCs Extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) 150 From 2020 None
HFCs All foams, including polyurethane 150 From 2023 None

Air conditioning and heat pump systems: F gases banned in new products

Type of F gas Banned uses Global warming potential Date of ban Exceptions from the ban
HFCs All new cars Above 150 Banned now None
HFCs Movable air conditioning equipment (user can move it between rooms) Above 150 From 2020 None
All F gases ‘Single split’ systems that contain less than 3kg of refrigerant. (A system with one cooling coil connected to a remote condensing unit.) Above 750 From 2025 Larger air-conditioning or heat pump systems, such as chillers or larger split systems

Aerosols: F gases banned in new products

Type of F gas Banned uses Global warming potential Date of ban Exceptions from the ban
HFCs Novelty aerosols, such as ‘silly string’, and signal horns. Above 150 Banned now None
HFCs Technical aerosols, including computer keyboard cleaners and plumbing pipe freezers. Above 150 Banned now HFCs needed to meet national safety standards. Medical aerosols.

Fire protection systems: F gases banned in new products

Type of F gas Banned uses Global warming potential Date of ban Exceptions from the ban
PFCs All fire protection systems All Banned now None
HFC23 All fire protection systems All Banned now None

Magnesium smelting: banned sulphur hexafluoride

You must not use sulphur hexafluoride for:

  • magnesium die-casting
  • recycling magnesium die-casting alloys

Other uses: F gases banned in new products

You must not use F gases in:

  • tyres
  • windows
  • footwear

Refillable containers

You must sell F gas in refillable containers if it will be used:

  • to service, maintain or fill refrigeration, air-conditioning or heat-pump equipment, fire protection systems or switchgear
  • as a solvent

You must take back containers from customers to refill them. Your containers are only classed as refillable if you have a process for customers to return containers to you for refilling.

Exemptions from the bans

The bans do not apply to military hardware like tanks and aircraft. The bans do apply to other equipment used by the military, such as refrigeration.

You may request an exemption from the F gas team at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if you can show that:

  • the ban creates technical or safety issues
  • total greenhouse gas emissions over a specific products life cycle, including energy consumption, will be lower because of the exemption
Published 21 August 2019