2023 ban on foams which contain the F-gas hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) with a Global Warming Potential (“GWP”) of 150 or over

Date published: 04 November 2022

Last updated: 23 January 2023

A new ban came into operation in NI on 1st January 2023.

Foams, often used in building insulation and fire equipment, that contain HFCs with a GWP of 150 or more were banned on that date.

Undertakings that do not comply with the ban are breaking the law and are liable for enforcement action.

The only permitted exception is when the foams with a GWP of over 150 are required to meet national safety standards.The different GWPs of F-gases can be found on the F-gas guidance page of the GB Government web-page.

The ban is being introduced because HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases that can exacerbate climate change, if emitted into the atmosphere.

Offences and penalties

It is an offence under regulation 26(1)(a)(ii) of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 to fail to comply with this ban.

Offences under these Regulations can be punishable by fine, as is detailed in regulation 28.

What you may need to do

If you’re unsure if this ban applies to you, check which category your product falls into and which HFC it uses with your manufacturer and/or supplier.

If you consider that your product is to be used to meet national safety standards, you should inform DAERA(NI) that you intend to place the product on the market.

You also need to provide evidence to FgasODSNI@daera-ni.gov.uk demonstrating the product's intended application.

You could also provide this guidance document to end users of foams that contain HFCs if you are a supplier.

Further information

Further information can be found in the GB Environment Agency’s attached document, or by contacting the Chemicals and Industrial Pollution Policy Branch of DAERA(NI).

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