The European Union is committed to the control of fluorinated greenhouse gas (F-gas) emissions, which are widely used as a refrigerant in commercial catering refrigeration equipment.

The European Fluorinated Gases Regulation (F-Gas), which came into force in July 2007, is currently under revision.  The most important new measure proposed is a phase down in the supply of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the most widely used of the F-gases.

What will the impact be?

Refrigeration equipment manufacturers are working with refrigerant suppliers to develop alternative gases that have much lower GWP (Global Warming Potential) and ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential).

Many refrigeration manufacturers already offer models using refrigerants with lower GWP and ODP, such as hydrocarbon, which is natural and non-toxic, has zero ODP and minimal GWP.  It also has excellent thermal properties, making it a superior refrigerant.  Operators buying new refrigeration should look for models offering energy savings and using low ODP and GWP refrigerants.

F-Gas Regulations: Your Responsibilities

The main focus of the F-Gas Regulations is to minimise emissions of F-gases from products and equipment, through containment, leak reduction and repair and recovery.  When it comes to catering refrigeration, the responsibility for complying with the regulation lies with the caterers, operators and users (as opposed to those selling or servicing it).

  • Prevent leakage – have leaks repaired as soon as possible by certified personnel and keep service and maintenance records detailing quantity and type of F-gas used.
  • Carry out a regular fixed schedule of inspections for leaks on equipment with a circuit charge of 3kg or more, following the standard leak-checking procedure laid down by the Commission. This includes an obligation that any repairs made must be checked within one month.
  • Where systems have a charge of over 300kg they must in addition install fixed leakage detection systems.
  • Ensure the proper recovery of F-gases by certified personnel, to ensure their recycling, reclamation or destruction.

If the refrigeration system does not use a refrigerant containing F-gases, then the regulations do not apply at all.

Companies who employ operatives undertaking activities within the scope of the F-Gas Regulations should have obtained a Company Certificate to carry out this work – caterers should check their service provider has this certificate.

Catering Equipment Services Ltd specialise in refrigeration equipment servicing and are Refcom (F-Gas) qualified. 

If you have any concerns about your refrigeration equipment and require advice and guidance on the servicing or safety of your commercial catering equipment, please contact the team on 02890 491616 or email