Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

What is the 2020 refrigeration F-gas ban?

The 2020 refrigeration F-gas ban

Who does it affect?

From 1 Jan 2020 it will affect both owners and the users of some commercial refrigeration units that contain F-gases. F-gases are commonly used as the coolant in fridges and freezers.

How do I find out if I’m affected?

The first thing to do is to check your refrigeration equipment. It should have a label with information including the “Carbon dioxide equivalent”, or CO2e, of the f-gas refrigerants it contains.

It will also tell you the "Global Warming Potential" (GWP) of the F-gas your equipment uses.

If the F-gas has a GWP that is greater than 2,500


The CO2e is greater than 40 tonnes of CO, then the ban affects you.

If you can’t find the label then find out from your service engineer or the manufacturer.

What is banned?

If your refrigeration equipment is affected, then when it needs a top up of coolant your service engineer will only be able to use certain F-gases. F-gases which have the strongest global warming effect (> 2,500) are banned, unless they are recycled or reclaimed from other old equipment.

What will that mean?

Your refrigeration equipment might already use F-gas that is below the threshold. If so then the fridges or freezers can be topped up as usual and nothing changes.

If your fridges or freezers contain an F-gas with a strong global warming effect, and you are affected, then you can:

  • Top up with recycled or reclaimed F-gas of the same type. Supplies of this might decrease over time.
  • Top up with a less harmful f-gas if your equipment allows this.
  • Look at upgrading your equipment to allow it to use an f-gas that is less harmful
  • Think about buying new equipment that will not be affected by the ban. 

Do I need to buy new equipment now?


You should however find out if your equipment is affected, and this will allow you to plan for the future.

NetRegs has produced a short e-learning tool covering the main points of the 2020 refrigeration F-gas ban

NetRegse-learning tools

 In this Guideline

What is the 2020 refrigeration F-gas ban?

What are fluorinated gases?

Phase down of F-gases 2015 – 2030

Calculating the equipment charge as CO2 equivalent

Stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps: F-gas controls

Fire protection equipment

Mobile air conditioning (cars and vans): F-gas controls

Solvent cleaning: F-gas controls

Producing and supplying fluids: F-gas controls

Specialist uses of F-gases

How F-gas regulations are enforced

F-Gas Legislation

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