It is estimated that there are some 500 to 600 businesses operating in the Republic of Ireland who install, service or maintain equipment which contain fluorinated greenhouse gases. The law requires that these businesses hold a valid company certificate and employ certified personnel.
F-Gas Registration Ltd (FGR) is the only approved registration body in the Republic of Ireland and all companies who register are listed on the FGR website, along with the number of certified personnel they employ and for what period they have been registered. There is an annual fee for registration and this is based on the size of the business as detailed below:
• Sole Trader (1 employee);
• Small business (2-10 employees);
• Medium business (10+ employees).
The current cost of certification is based on the number of companies who register with FGR on an annual basis. As more businesses register then the price for certification will reduce.
During 2014/15 a number of Irish businesses registered in the UK following an email campaign by one of the UK smaller certification bodies to increase their membership by offering very low prices for registration. While under Article 10 of the Regulation’s mutual recognition of certificates issued in other member states applies to certificates issued in accordance with Article 6, the price of the certificate is based on the number of companies who operate in the UK market being some 5,000 plus.
“FGR could never offer company certification at these prices”, says Philip Byrne, Operations Manager, F-Gas Registration Ltd, “as it would not be viable even for a not-forprofit business. I cannot see how the cost of certification being charged by some UK certification bodies can be maintained going forward, and I would expect to see these fees being increased in the future.
“While UK certificates are on the whole valid, there have been some issues with certificates issued to some companies operating in Ireland These have been investigated by the Environmental Agency in the UK and the certificates in question have been withdrawn.
“Another issue surrounding companies who register in the UK is website listings. Not all companies who are registered in the UK are listed on the respective websites, and therefore those dealing with them will need to contact the relevant UK certification body for confirmation of their certification.
“For the company F-Gas Registration to continue to be a viable operation in Ireland it must be supported by the businesses that operate here. Having spoken to many owners and managers of businesses during the past few months, the majority of them wish to see F-gas Registration remain in Ireland. However, a few of these point to the cost difference as the only reason they would register in the UK.
“F-gas Registration Ltd not only provides certification but offers support, information and advice to its customers on all related issues on the F-gas Regulations.
“It’s important to remember that it’s the operator of the equipment who is responsible to ensure that businesses/companies are certified, and that the technical personnel they employ to install, service and maintain equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gas have the correct certification and training.”
Contact: Philip Byrne, F-gas Registration. Tel: 01 – 861 8207; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.fgasregistration.ie