Guidance

Manufacturers of products with F gas: labels and record keeping

How to label equipment that contains fluorinated greenhouse gas (F gas) and records that manufacturers need to keep.

You must follow this guide if you use an EU regulated fluorinated greenhouse gas (F gas) in any of the following products:

  • refrigeration systems
  • fire protection systems
  • air conditioning and heat pump systems systems
  • aerosols
  • insulating foam
  • high voltage switchgear
  • solvents

Look at the list of F gases regulated by the EU. It includes sulphur hexaflouride (SF6) which is used in high voltage switchgear.

There’s separate guidance for businesses that use an EU regulated F gas to make semiconductors, or SF6 in magnesium smelting.

Label equipment

You must add a label to any products you manufacture that contain EU regulated F gases, stating both:

  • that the equipment contains an F gas
  • the industry name for the F gas, or the chemical name if there isn’t an accepted industry name

From 2017 the label on any product apart from insulating foam, and foam boards, must also state the:

  • mass of F gas in the equipment (in kg)
  • carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent mass of the F gas
  • global warming potential of the F gas

Find the global warming potential of each F gas on the list of F gases regulated by the EU.

Find out how to use an F gas’s global warming potential to calculate the weight of the F gas in CO2 equivalent.

For foam boards, information must be permanently marked on the board, rather than put on a label.

‘Hermetically sealed equipment’

If F gas is ‘hermetically sealed’ within a product, the label must also state that’s the case. F gas is hermetically sealed if both of the following apply:

  • any part of the product that contains F gas is welded or brazed shut, or permanently sealed in another way
  • the product has a tested leakage rate of less than 3 grams per year

A system that meets these 2 conditions is considered hermetically sealed, even if it has capped valves or capped service ports to allow access for repairs and maintenance.

Product bans

The EU is banning the use of some F gases in the following types of product:

  • refrigeration
  • air conditioning
  • fire protection
  • aerosols
  • insulating foam

Find out more about F gas product bans if you make any of these products.

EU phase down of HFCs

The EU is cutting the availability of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are a type of F gas, by 79% between 2015 and 2030.

Only companies with EU quotas will be able to supply HFCs to the EU market.

HFCs, particularly those with high global warming potentials, are likely to become more expensive.

The HFCs that are being phased down are listed with their global warming potentials in section 1 of the list of F gases regulated by the EU.

Find out more about the HFC phase down.

Secure HFCs from EU quotas

Any HFCs used in refrigeration or air conditioning and heat pump equipment manufactured in the EU, must be accounted for in the EU quota system.

Equipment manufactured in the EU

You must buy HFCs directly from an HFC quota holder, if you manufacture refrigeration or air conditioning and heat pump equipment in the EU.

You must keep documents that show that HFCs come from a quota holder.

From 1 January 2017, you must also write a ‘declaration of conformity’ confirming this.

You must keep the documents and declaration of conformity for 5 years.

Equipment manufactured outside the EU for sale in the EU

You must follow guidance for importers of equipment if you’re manufacturing refrigeration or air conditioning and heat pump equipment outside the EU, for sale in the EU.

Published 31 December 2014