The Refrigerant Sales Restriction is a Federal Law enforced under the Environmental Protection Agency. The law states that CFC and HCFC refrigerants can only be sold to EPA certified personnel. Those who are not certified cannot legally buy, handle, or use these refrigerants.
The restriction was put in place due to the O-Zone damaging Chlorine that the CFC and HCFC refrigerants contain. Both the CFC and HCFC refrigerants were banned across the world under the Montreal Protocol due to the Chlorine they contained.
The most popular refrigerants that fall under this restriction are R-12, R-22, and R-502. In order to purchase R-22 or R-502 you will need to be section 608 certified with the EPA. If you are looking to purchase R-12 you will need to be section 609 certified with the EPA.
It is important to note that HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-134a, and R-404A are NOT covered under this sales restriction. If you are looking to purchase an HFC refrigerant you can without a license. This may change in time, but as of 2015 anyone can purchase these refrigerants. It is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.
Lastly, please do not attempt to go around these restrictions. This is Federal Law. If you violate this law you could potentially have the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Government coming to your door. There are numerous instances of the government going after individuals and or companies that violate this law.