Don’t lose your cool, the EU’s updated regulations on refrigerant gases

The European Union recently updated its key regulations covering the use of ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Ozone-depleting substances are gases which damage the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. F-gases are greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Common uses for these gases include air conditioning, refrigeration, aerosols, and solvents.

Due to the environmentally damaging nature of these gases the European Union is continuing to take steps to phase out of their use.

Ozone-depleting substances

Regulation (EU) 2024/590 on substances that deplete the ozone layer came into force on the 11th March 2024 replacing Regulation (EC) 1005/2009. The new entry on LUS can be found here (subscribers only).

It provides rules on the production, import, export, placing on the market, storage and subsequent supply of ozone-depleting substances, as well as on their use, recovery, recycling, reclamation and destruction.

Current requirements regarding regular leak checks continue to apply.

The thresholds for leak checks are:

  • 3kg or more of ozone depleting substances require leak checks at least every 12 months, except for hermetically sealed units which must be labelled as such, and contain no more than 6kg;
  • 30kg or more of ozone depleting substances require leak checks at least every 6 months; and
  • 300kg or more of ozone depleting substances require leak checks at least every 3 months.

The production, import, export, placing on the market and use of any ozone depleting substances is still prohibited with exemptions being found in Chapter 3.

New requirements

By 31st March 2025 and every year thereafter, data listed in Annex VI must be reported by producers, importers, exporters and organisations who destroy substances for each ozone-depleting substance for the previous calendar year. Organisations must also register in a licensing system.

From 1st January 2025, building owners and contractors must ensure that emissions are avoided during renovation, refurbishing or demolition activities that remove foam panels and foam contained in laminated boards that contain an ozone depleting substance.

In the case of recovery of those substances, the recovery must be done by appropriately qualified practitioners.


Regulation (EU) 2024/573 on fluorinated greenhouse gases (the F-gas Regulation) came into force on the 11th March 2024 replacing Regulation (EU) 517/2014. The new entry on LUS can be found here (subscribers only).

Continued requirements apply to ensure that manufacturers and operators of equipment containing F-gases prevent leaks and keep records for 5 years, whilst additional requirements are introduced to reduce the use of F-gases.

Restrictions on the use of non-reclaimed or non-recycled F-gases for the service and maintenance of equipment will be introduced between 1st January 2025 and 1st January 2035, applying to:

  • refrigeration equipment;
  • air-conditioning and heat pump units; and
  • electrical switchgear.

The production and importation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) across the Union must be reduced to 15% of average 2011-2013 levels by 2036.

Key dates and duties include:

  • 1st January 2025, building owners and contractors must ensure F-gas emissions are avoided from activities relating to the renovation, refurbishment and demolition involving foam panels and foams in laminated boards.
  • 12th March 2025, foam and aerosol products, as well a stationary refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment containing F-gases with a global warming potential of 1000 or more must not be exported from the EU.
  • 31st March 2025, Producers, importers and exporters of F-gases, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) exceeding 100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the EU must report data by this date and then annually.
  • 12th March 2026, the EU Commission will set new minimum requirements for the training and certification of persons working on equipment containing F-gases. Refresher training and certification will be required at least every 7 years.
  • 31st December 2027, EU Member States must put new local legislation in place to ensure the financing of the recovery and recycling of F-gases contained in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
  • 1st January 2028, trade of HFCs is prohibited with countries who have not agreed to the Montreal Protocol (an international treaty ratified by all UN members).

It is expected that EU nations and Northern Ireland will introduce new national legislation over the coming months and years to support the implementation of the new ozone-depleting substances and F-gas regulations.

There is currently no change to requirements in Great Britain where the assimilated versions of the previous regulations continue to apply.