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2020 Refrigerants gas ban

The 2020 ban on the use of F gas is primarily on the use of virgin F Gas with a global warming potential of 2500 or above to service or maintain existing refrigeration equipment with a charge size of 40 tonnes carbon dioxide and above.

SEPA and Scottish local authorities will be working with Scottish suppliers of F-gases and equipment as well as the companies who maintain the f-gas refrigeration products to monitor compliance.

Enforcement notices and significant fines up to £100,000 can be applied from 1 January 2020 for non-compliance, so it is important that you comply fully with the ban, if it applies to your business.

This legislation will reduce the amount of damaging refrigerants that contribute to global warming and climate change. You are likely to be affected by this ban if you are:

  • Small to medium size retail outlets with mid to small size fridges
  • Large supermarkets
  • User of refrigeration unit that contains F Gas

An information leaflet, Refridgeration and freezer equipment: Changes for refridgerant gases that can be used, provides more information on the ban. Further information is also availabe on our question and answer webpage, F-gas Regulation business guidance – 2020 service ban.

It does not apply to air conditioning units.

Full details of the ban and useful guidance if you believe that this ban may affect your business, are available on Gov.UK:

We recommend that you also visit NetRegs where you’ll find further information and a self-assessment tool to enable you to check if the ban will affect your business.

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Complying with the ban

The ban will apply to many commonly used refrigeration or freezer systems that are currently in use in many businesses in Scotland.

The type of units that be affected by the ban include but are not restricted to:

  • small to medium hermetically sealed systems;
  • condensing units;
  • central pack systems.

Businesses affected by the ban can take the following steps:

  • Speak to your refrigerant provider about possible alternative refrigerants.
  • Retrofit current system (loans available for this, please refer to information leaflet below for further details).
  • Switch to low GWP refrigerants that are not covered by the 2020 service ban.
  • Use reclaimed HFC refrigerants-option only available up to 2030.
  • Use recycled HFC refrigerants that have been recycled either from your own equipment, or by the company servicing the equipment-option (only available up to 2030).

The Scottish Government SME Loan Scheme is available for the installation of energy efficient measures including refrigeration. For more information, and to determine if you are eligible, visit Resource Efficient Scotland: