F-gas audit for importers of equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases
F-gases are fluorinated greenhouse gases (HFCs, PFCs, etc.) and are often used in air conditioners, heat pumps or similar devices. These gases contribute to global warming and pose a serious threat to the environment. Reducing the amount of f-gases and substances that deplete the ozone layer Is therefore necessary. The European Commission proposed new regulations to reduce the use of F-gases in Europe.
Rules for importers
In the fluorinated greenhouse gas sector, European regulations and specifically Dutch legislation applies. With regard to F-gases, the “F-gas regulation” applies, expanded into a number of sub-regulations. One is specifically about reporting and documentation requirements such as registration, the declaration of conformity when placing refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment containing F-gases on the market, and the verification of it by an independent auditor.
In order to implement the gradual phasing-out, individual producers and importers have been allocated a quota for placing fluorocarbons on the market. This is so that the total quantitative limit for placing fluorocarbons on the market is not exceeded.
Quota, permit and declaration of conformity
The quantities for the quotas have been allocated to producers and importers of bulk F-gas (in tanks and gas bottles). The importer of the equipment containing the substances must have a permit. This license is an agreement between the quota holder (producer or importer of the gas) and the importer of the equipment. In this way, the “license manager” transfers the license to the importer. Companies must enter their permits in the HFC Registry (registration tool); these are otherwise not valid for the import of equipment.
The importer of the equipment draws up a declaration of conformity, which states that he has the permits and the quota.
Why is an F-gas audit required?
The importer keeps documentation of the deliveries with information about the deliveries (model type, number of units per model, how many substances in grams, total quantity in CO2 equivalent etc.). This information (the control document) must be entered in the reporting system made available (the F-gas portal). The regulator has determined that the documentation and the declarations of conformity of the importer must be checked by an independent auditor. Both the entry into the F-gas portal and the auditor’s audit must be completed by 31 March each year.
Please note: there is a threshold value of 100 tons of CO2 equivalent for the obligation to have the declaration of conformity(s) checked and to submit the results of the check to the European Commission.
Crowe Peak has experience with performing F-gas audits. We are happy to help you with a smooth coordination and insight into the required work and audit approach. Please feel free to contact us.