New EPA Freon Regulation

Refrigerant Sales Restriction
• Major recordkeeping requirements for refrigerant wholesalers
• Fact Sheet: How the revised 608 Rule affects refrigerant distributors
Refrigerant Sales Restriction
The sales restriction is established by EPA regulations (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. Only EPA-certified technicians are allowed to purchase ozone-depleting substances (ODS) used as refrigerants. Technicians may be certified under either the Section 608 or Section 609 technician certification programs. Starting on January 1, 2018, the requirements discussed on this page will also apply to most substitute refrigerants, including HFCs.
The sales restriction covers refrigerants contained in cylinders, cans, or drums, except for the sale of small cans of substitute refrigerants (e.g., R-134a) for use in motor vehicle air conditioners. This sales restriction does not cover refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment or components containing refrigerants.

Requirements to Purchase Refrigerant
The following people can buy any type of ozone-depleting refrigerant (or, starting Jan. 1, 2018, substitute refrigerant) under this sales restriction:
• Technicians who have earned the Section 608 Technician Certification.
• Employers of a Section 608 certified technician (or the employer’s authorized representative) if the employer provides the refrigerant wholesaler with written evidence that he or she employs at least one properly certified technician.
The following people can buy refrigerant found acceptable for use in a motor vehicle air conditioner (MVAC):
• Technicians who have earned Section 609 Technician Certification.
Only Section 608 certified technicians can purchase refrigerants intended for use with stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. Section 609 certified technicians cannot purchase refrigerants that are intended for use with stationary equipment, regardless of container size.
EPA is not restricting the sale of “small cans” containing less than 2 pounds of substitute refrigerants (e.g., HFC-134a) for use in MVACs.

Wholesaler Responsibilities

Wholesalers that sell either ozone-depleting or substitute refrigerants must retain invoices that indicate the name of the purchaser, the date of sale, and the quantity of refrigerant purchased.
Wholesalers that sell refrigerant for resale are legally responsible for ensuring that their customers fit into one of the categories of allowed purchasers under the sales restriction. Although the regulation does not specify precautions that wholesalers must take to verify the intent of individuals purchasing refrigerant, EPA recommends that wholesalers obtain a signed statement from the purchaser indicating that he or she is purchasing the refrigerant only for eventual resale to certified technicians.
Wholesalers also may sell refrigerant to the purchaser’s authorized representative if the purchaser provides evidence that he or she employs at least one certified technician. It is the wholesaler’s responsibility to determine whether persons who claim to represent a refrigerant purchaser are indeed authorized representatives. EPA recommends, but does not require, that wholesalers keep lists of authorized representatives to help with this determination.
If a wholesaler knows that refrigerant delivered to a purchaser when no one is present will ultimately be received by the purchaser or his authorized representative, then the wholesaler may deliver the refrigerant without obtaining the signature of an authorized representative.