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European Regulation Number 2037 for Ozone Depleting Substances

Chloroflurocarbons - Ban on use and trade

This regulation banned the use of CFC's from 1st October 2000. The main points to consider are:

  1. Trade

    It became illegal to trade in CFC's whether virgin or recycled for sale or free issue after 1st October 2000. Exemption only for essential use e.g. pharmaceutical applications.

  2. Maintenance

    Users of CFC's were able to top up refrigeration sets until the end of 2000, but CFC's must have been purchased and supplied to the user prior to the new legislation taking effect.

  3. Continued use

    After the end of 2000, CFC's can continue to be used in existing equipment but top ups will not be permitted.

  4. Recycling

    No distinction is made between virgin and recycled CFC's, so that recycled CFC's are also not allowed to be sold and used from 1st October 2000

  5. Leakages

    All precautionary measures possible must be taken to minimise leakages of CFC's and HCFC's, particularly in fixed equipment with a refigerant charge of more than 3 KGS which will be checked annually for leakages.

Hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs) - Tighter controls, ban on use in new equipment and earlier and deeper cutbacks

By far the largest HCFC refrigerant is R22 which dominates the refrigerants' market. R22 is used as a direct replacement for CFCs and also as a major component of most blends formulated as drop-in alternatives for CFCs. e.g. R409A (FX56) to replace R12, R402A (HP80) to replace R502 and others.

Control of HCFCs is by putting a cap on their usage according to a set formula based on earlier levels of consumption which the new regulation seeks to tighten. The cutbacks proposed are quite severe, for example a near two thirds reduction in 2003, which will inevitably lead to product shortages and the need to start thinking about strategies to replace R22 now. The main points of this proposal are:

  1. Cutback schedule

    In comparison with the current regulation and based on a freeze in 1995, deeper and earlier cutbacks will be made according to the following timetables.

    1995 Freeze
    2001 17%
    2002 30%
    2003 62%
    2004 75%
    2008 79%
    2010 100% phase out
  2. Use

    HCFCs were prohibited in new equipment with effect from the end of 2000. Two exceptions were made, firstly for fixed air conditioning systems less than 100kw cooling capacity until 1st July 2002 and, secondly for reversible air conditioning/heat pump systems until 1st January 2004 so that R22 is now prohibited for use in all new equipment.

  3. Servicing

    Virgin HCFC's will be banned for servicing of plant and equipment in 2010. The use of recovered and recycled material will be permitted until 2015.

  4. Production

    For the first time, production controls will be introduced in Europe.