New F-Gas Regulation: What Does it Mean for the Cooling Sector?


The European Union is leading the charge towards a sustainable and pollution-free future, aiming to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this, the European Commission has proposed a new F-gas Regulation targeting the use of fluorinated gases, a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, that are often used as refrigerants in the cooling sector. This proposal, which came into effect on March 11, 2024, is a critical milestone towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future for the European Union and the world.

The new regulation will have many positive effects, but the cooling sector and its clients will face the inevitable changes and challenges. Luckily, FREOR prepared for these challenges a long time ago and is ready to guide you through the changes and provide you with F-gas Regulation friendly and future-proof commercial refrigeration solutions.

What changes will the new F-gas Regulation bring?

The new F-gas Regulation mandates a complete phase out of F-gasses across the EU by 2050. The restrictions will occur in stages with the first one effecting the commercial refrigeration equipment sector starting in 2025.

From 2025, any new commercial refrigeration equipment cannot use F-gas refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) greater than 2500. New refrigeration equipment that is self-contained will no longer be permitted to use F-gas refrigerants with GWP greater than 150. Furthermore, in 2030, the current limit for any new refrigeration equipment will be entirely reduced to GWP 150.

From 2025, the GWP for the service and maintenance of refrigeration equipment will be limited to 2500; from 2032, it will be 750 for stationary refrigeration equipment. For already existing commercial refrigeration equipment that uses recycled or reclaimed F-gas refrigerants, it will be allowed to service and maintain them with GWP 2500 or more until 2030. The service and maintenance limit means a big part of commercial refrigeration equipment will have to be renewed with environment-friendly refrigerant options.

The link between F-gases and PFAS

The new F-gas Regulation has also established a link between some F-gases and PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated substances) – synthetic chemicals that do not break down in the environment. These chemicals contaminate groundwater, surface water, and soil, leading to a wide variety of health risks for both humans and animals. After confirming that some fluorinated gases degrade into PFAS, the next step is to ban harmful synthetic refrigerants, which is already in the discussion.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), responsible for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), has proposed restrictions on the production and use of PFAS substances. The proposed restrictions would apply to refrigerants such as R448a, R449a, R512a, R452a, R454b, and many more, which are becoming more popular as replacements for high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants that are being phased out by the F-gas Regulation.

If the restriction comes into force, it would mean that refrigerants containing PFAS substances would become toxic waste, which would further limit the options for refrigerants in the commercial refrigeration sector.

What would regulations and restrictions mean for the cooling sector?

Commercial refrigeration equipment sector clients will have to change their old, not environment friendly refrigeration equipment or the systems it operates on. Due to Europe’s F-gas phase-down regulations and possible PFAS restrictions, to this day, there are only three refrigerant options that will be available long-term: ammonia (R717), CO2 (R744), and propane (R290) gas refrigerants.

Since it is unavoidable FREOR suggests transitioning to natural propane (R290) gas or CO2 (R744) driven commercial refrigeration now. These options are not only environmentally friendly but also highly energy efficient.

Moreover, they are future-proof as they are unaffected by legislative requirements related to PFAS restrictions or global F-gas phase-down initiatives like the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the current renewed EU F-Gas Regulation.

Contact our sales team at to discuss the best future-proof solution for your business.


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