Bakers are being urged to get to grips with new legislation for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment or risk being fined.

The new F-Gas Regulation, which came into force in July, requires those who operate refrigeration or air conditioning systems above a certain size to carry out regular checks to ensure refrigerant is not leaking into the atmosphere.

Any leaks found must be repaired and further checks carried out to ensure equipment is completely leak-tight. Failure to carry out the checks, or take action in the event of a leak being discovered, could result in prosecution and fines.

The legislation is part of a European-wide push to reduce emissions of HFCs – potent global warming gases – which are in widespread use as refrigerants in commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

“There are literally hundreds of thousands of refrigeration and air conditioning systems in use across the country that depend on so-called F-Gases. HFCs are by far the most common refrigerants in use in commercial cooling systems, and all are subject to the new requirements,” said Iona Spencer, sales manager at the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Show, which will host seminars on the issue when it takes place from 13-15 March next year.

“It is vital that everyone who uses this equipment gets rapidly up to speed with the new legislation. We understand the authorities are gearing up to take more concerted enforcement activity, and that prosecutions may follow.”