OzonAction technical brief on refrigerant cylinder labelling 2021

Date: 17 March 2021
OzonAction technical brief on refrigerant cylinder labelling 2021

UNEP OzonAction released the technical brief on refrigerant cylinder labelling (English, Russian). It is recommended to implement mandatory labelling of refrigerant cylinders prior to the freeze of the HFC consumption at the baseline level. For most developing countries, the HFC freeze will start on 1 January 2024. This technical brief encourages Governments and National Ozone Officers to establish or amend national legislation requiring mandatory labelling of refrigerant cylinders and explains what information should be included in refrigerant cylinder labelling.

Refrigerants are contained in different types of cylinders such as small cans or ISO containers, transport or recovery cylinders, refillable or non-refillable cylinders etc. Labelling of such cylinders is needed to provide information about the cylinders and their contents, to allow easy identification of refrigerants and to ensure their safe and proper handling. Such information is relevant for importers, wholesalers, distributors, service companies / end-users and enforcement authorities throughout the life cycle of the cylinders and the refrigerants, e.g. during production, transport, trade, storage, use, recovery/recycling / reclaim and disposal. Labelling of refrigerant cylinders also facilitates the monitoring of trade, maintaining trade statistics and reporting the consumption of controlled substances as required under Article 7 of the Montreal Protocol.

Countries allowing the import or placing on the market of refrigerant cylinders without labelling, with incomplete or with misleading labelling might not be able to ensure the health and safety of users. They might also face challenges in monitoring and controlling trade in controlled substances as required by the Montreal Protocol. Labelling is becoming even more important with the increasing number of new refrigerants and blends, which led to the discontinuation of the AHRI system of cylinder colours. As a result of this, labelling has become the principal identification method for refrigerant cylinders and their contents.

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