The European Union definitively bans air conditioning equipment, refrigerators, freezers, and heat pumps that operate on fluorinated fuel, which is almost everything that is currently used in companies, supermarkets, shopping centers, and private homes.
This Monday, the Council voted in favor of the complete elimination of fluorinated gases by 2050, which are considered harmful to the atmosphere and for which there is already a specific tax and strict regulation. They are usually used for refrigeration and air conditioning devices in fire extinguishing, aerosols, and thermal and electrical insulation foams.
Until now, European regulations (F-Gas) As of 2020, the use of fluorinated gases classified as having “high global warming potential” will be greatly reduced. Since then, manufacturers have developed more environmentally friendly models with “low global warming potential, but almost all continue to use fluorinated gas.
Maintenance is prohibited starting in 2025
Although the ban will be effective in 2050, there are issues that will begin to affect consumers and installers of refrigeration equipment starting next year. From 2025 on, maintenance is prohibited on refrigeration equipment using fluorinated gases with “high global warming potential” unless the gases are recovered or recycled, in which case they will benefit from a derogation until 2030.
In addition, a similar ban on the maintenance of air conditioning equipment and heat pump equipment was introduced in 2026, with an exception for recovered or recycled gases until 2032.
Fines and penalties
The text establishes that Member States shall establish rules on effective, proportionate, and dissuasive penalties applicable to violations and that they shall include, at least, fines, confiscation of products, temporary exemption from public procurement, and a temporary ban on trade.
The Council’s vote closed the adoption procedure, so the two regulations will now be signed by the Council and the European Parliament and enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU.