View Full Version : What are the penalties?

10-09-2009, 08:20 AM
We are all aware of the requirements for A/C sytems to have regular maintenance and refrigerant leak checks. We have a fairly large contract customer who employs us to carry out maintenance and refrigerant leak checks on all of the active A/C equipment on his site. However when recently approached and reminded of his responsibilities with regards other A/C equipment in temoporarily out of use buildings and redundant equipment still containing refrigeant that he should either have maintenance carried out or have the systems decommissioned, his reply was, "What are the penalties for not spending a considerable sum of money when the buildings/equipment are not in use?"
We acquainted him of his moral and environmental responsibilities, but this was not enough to convince him that further action needs to be taken. Has anyone in the UK got any verified information with regards any posssible penalties that might be imposed. For obvious commercial reasons, we cannot go down the route of notifying the EHO, at the moment.

10-09-2009, 09:10 AM

Itís all in a European Regulation, 842 / 2006. Thereís been dozens of posts on this subject on this forum.

The legal offences and penalties are left to individual member states to sort out in their own domestic legislation.

Here, in the UK, it is laid out in a Statutory Instrument, SI 2008 / 41. The penalties, fines etc., are in section 4.
Hereís a link.


Thereís an explanatory memorandum to go with it.


Your customer is defined as the ĎOperatorí and itís his responsibility to be aware of his responsibilities regarding checks to the kit.
There are no requirements for regular service or maintenance in the SI, but he must ensure that it is leak-free and arrange to have any leaks repaired promptly and effectively. The leakage checks are a requirement if it is in service or not, even if it is pumped down.
You may advise him of the technical route for compliance, but Iíd do it all in writing if I were you.
He also has the responsibility to ensure that he keeps an adequate log of checks carried out, refrigerant used, who used it and when.


10-09-2009, 11:16 AM
Thanks Argus for the speedy reply. Unless I have misread the fines etc. it would appear that the "Fixed Penalty Notice" fine is £100.00. Not really much of a persuasive incentive to conform. I will need to read up further on this before mentioning anything to our customer.

10-09-2009, 12:09 PM

I'll stress that I'm an engineer, not a lawyer, but from my reading of the SI, the 'fixed penalties' in section 30, apply mainly to householders and the like.

What it says in section 29 immediately before that bit is:

A person guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liableó
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

Currently, I understand that the scale of fines rises to a 'statutory maximum' of £5000.

Bear in mind that, unless your client complies with the law, anything you do to help him will tar you with the same brush.

Frankly, unless this guy is your only customer, you are better off without him.