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Refcom to cover Northern Ireland

Refcom has been appointed as he mandatory F Gas certification body for businesses operating in the stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (SRAC) sector in Northern Ireland.

Refcom, which already operates a business registration scheme in England, Scotland and Wales, has now reached an agreement with the Department of the Environment to be the sole certification body in Northern Ireland.

Company certification is a legal requirement under Sections 23 and 24 of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (FGG) Regulations 2009, which became law on 9 March this year.

To comply with the regulations, businesses that install, maintain or service stationary refrigeration, air-conditioning and/or heat pump equipment that contains or is designed to contain F gases must now possess an Interim or Full Company Certificate; the deadline for certification was July 4 2009.

So far 2,500 businesses in Great Britain have registered with Refcom and it has officially issued the first company certificate to HVCA member company Ceilite Air Conditioning Limited of Stansted in Essex.

Refcom chief executive Bruce Kirton presented the certificate to Ceilite Air Conditioning director Scott Gleed at a recent F Gas Essentials seminar organised by HVCA and ACRIB.

Mr Kirton said: “Now that Refcom has been appointed for the whole of the UK, we are working hard to process applications as quickly as possible. For a small business with up to nine engineers, the online application process only takes about 10 minutes and 90 per cent of businesses are making their applications online.

“I would urge any business that has yet to apply to do so as soon as possible by visiting our new website at Compliance is required by law and customers and gas and equipment suppliers will expect businesses to be certified.”

Defra has responsibility for enforcing F Gas regulation and has said it will review action against non-compliance on a case by case basis.

Interim Company Certificates are available for those businesses whose engineers hold the old Safe Handling Qualifications CITB J01 or City & Guilds 2078. Interim Certificates are valid until July 2011 to allow businesses time to train their engineers to the new standards. To obtain a full company certificate, businesses must employ engineers that have one of the new City & Guilds 2079 or CITB J11-J14 qualifications. In addition, for a full certificate, businesses must also prove that they have in place appropriate recovery systems and refrigerant handling procedures. After July 2011 all businesses must hold a full company certificate.