BRA offers its refrigerant supply scheme to DEFRA
The British Refrigeration Association is to offer the responsible trading initiative that it has developed to ACRIB, the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Industry Board, with the aim that DEFRA can use core parts of the scheme in its basket of solutions for compliance with the F-Gas Regulation. ACRIB is the central sector body consulting with DEFRA. The overall principles of the BRA scheme are the promotion of good stewardship and responsible use of refrigerants supplied by scheme suppliers through qualified users. It has particular reference to the statutory requirements for qualification to handle ozone-depleting refrigerants and proposed qualifications required for handling HFC refrigerants under the F-Gas Regulation and obtaining supply under those measures from 2009. The original aim was for this scheme to be voluntary and entered into by most wholesalers supplying refrigerant, prior to the F-Gas Regulation coming into force. However, there are competition law difficulties in operating such a voluntary scheme. Without legislation in place, it has not been possible to move forward with this industry initiative. Cedric Sloan of FETA comments, ‘Whilst the RAC industry generally supports the UK Government policy of minimising the regulatory load on companies, there is widespread support for a mandatory registration scheme for companies and tradesmen in support of the F-Gas Regulation.’ Government representatives welcomed this and were very interested in industry views as to how obligations should be carried out under Article 5.4, which states that only companies with certified staff will be able to take delivery of F gases. They agreed to take feedback on the BRA proposals from all stakeholders so that this issue could be discussed in further detail.