The time for mandatory Section 609 recertification is now

The new refrigerant purchasing rules that took effect January 1, 2018 have had service shops, distributors and the MACS office in an uproar. At the MACS office, the faxes, emails, phone calls and mail deliveries never stop. Every technician wants to make sure they can buy refrigerant, but it makes me wonder: Do they know what to do with it once they get it? Are they handling it safely, properly and responsibly?

Many of the questions posed to the MACS staff about the Section 609 rules and test requirements from working technicians have been staggering for their lack of information awareness.

Since January 1, 2018 the MACS office has processed over 40,000 Section 609 certifications, the majority I am pleased to say are new Section 609 certifications of technicians actually taking the test which was updated in 2015 to include R-1234yf service and repair information. If you are ever going to service an R-1234yf system, this information is vital for repair procedures and for shop and personal safety. For $20, it is some of the most comprehensive training a technician can get on servicing mobile A/C systems with R-1234yf.

In 2010, MACS asked the U.S. EPA to require mandatory recertification of all technicians to include training in the service and repair of R-1234yf systems. In our letter we said, “…We contend that it is extremely important for the Agency to require specific training prior to the use of the new refrigerant by service technicians. We believe that voluntary training will leave an unknown (and very likely large) segment of the service community untrained and at risk.”

MACS also said, “The process of requiring individuals holding a particular certification to periodically recertify is common in the industry and referenced in the standards established by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The general purpose is to help ensure that certified individuals maintain competence over a defined time period. In the case of the certifying agency most respected in the automotive arena, ASE (National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence), that period is five years and is based on the estimated rate of technological change within the automotive industry.”
Training is available to all automotive technicians. As professionals, we should take advantage of as much career training as we can. However, because so many will not voluntarily be trained, EPA should require Section 609 recertification.



About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
This entry was posted in #1234yf, ACtion Magazine, Environmental Protection Agency, Mobile Air Conditioning, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The time for mandatory Section 609 recertification is now

  1. Jeffery Tatro says:

    why do parts stores sell R134A to every day consumers with no training whatsoever? they are allowed to walk in and purchase recharge kits from any local parts store and simply put it in the system even tho they know if the system is empty it has a leak!!!!! car flippers are famous for doing this to enhance the selling point of the vehicle. they write hot heat and cold A/C “maybe for a day or two or maybe a week then the system is empty”

    Why do I as a tech for over 25 years require a certification? I evacuate the system check it for leaks if the system is empty. if the vehicle has a leak I will not charge it unless the leak is repaired.
    this new law makes no sense at all. it just makes automotive techs spend more and more money when the law should BAN ALL SALES UNLESS THEY ARE SELLING TO A LICENSED REPAIR FACILITY.
    for me it’s not about taking a test and spending $20.00 it’s about fairness!!!
    if it is ok for consumers to buy small quantities of freon why should I have to pay a fee for a certification? example: I own 4 vehicles which i need to repair the A/C systems in one needs a compressor one needs a Evap core one needs a high pressure hose. i can go in as a consumer and purchase the kits but I need almost 10lbs of freon. it’s cheaper to buy a 30lb tank @ $110.00 than it is to buy 6 kits for about $40.00 for each kit!!!!
    this law makes no sense at all.
    when will the EPA Ban all sales of Car Refrigerant unless the consumer has a certification???
    this in my opinion is the prime example of a so called EPA EXPERT NOT THINKING THINGS THROUGH. Car owners are responsible for probably 90% of freon being let go into the atmosphere.

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