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REFCOM to run safe handling company register

From July 2009, it will become illegal to sell refrigerants to firms who are not on the safe handling company registration scheme, and REFCOM, set up by the HVCA, has been chosen to run it.
REFCOM was named by DEFRA as the body responsible for company certifications, required by law under the F-gas regulations.

REFCOM currently runs a voluntary registration scheme for refrigeration and air conditioning businesses and was considered to be the only organisation able to operate the company scheme in the timeframe available.

The mandatory company scheme will come into force on March 9. Companies will have until July 4, 2009, to obtain either full or interim certification or risk being in breach of the Regulations. The certificates will be valid for at least three years.

While it may be possible to transfer the current 350 members of REFCOM's 'more robust' voluntary scheme, directly into the new scheme, REFCOM will be hard pressed to register all of the remaining 7,000 firms in the time available.

The government has rejected industry pleas submitted during the consultation period for a register of personnel.

Since February, new EU qualifications for the safe handling of refrigerant gases have been available as part of the F-Gas Regulations. Anyone handling F Gases must already hold a qualification, currently the City & Guilds 2078 or its CITB equivalent, but by July 2011 they must have the new City & Guilds 2079 qualification or its CITB equivalent, to comply with EU law.
18 February 2009

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