HFC Emission Reduction Measures for Mobile Air Conditioning - Regulation for Small Containers of Automotive Refrigerant

This page last reviewed April 27, 2017


In January 2009 the Board approved the mobile air conditioning (MAC) regulation to reduce emissions associated with the use of small containers of automotive refrigerant. Do-it-yourself (DIY) practitioners can purchase HFC-134a refrigerant in small containers holding between 2 ounces and 2 pounds of refrigerant to recharge their MAC system. Typically a traditional container is not fully emptied during the recharging process since the air conditioning system may only require a portion of the container and due to incorrect technique by DIY users. With a traditionally designed container, any unused refrigerant is almost immediately vented to the atmosphere.

This regulation applies to the sale, use, and disposal of small containers of automotive refrigerant with a GWP greater than 150. The regulation achieves emission reductions through implementation of four requirements: 1) use of a self-sealing valve on the container, 2) improved labeling instructions, 3) a deposit and recycling program for small containers, and 4) an education program that emphasizes best practices for vehicle recharging. This regulation went into effect on January 1, 2010 with a one-year sell-through period for containers manufactured before January 1, 2010. The target recycle rate is initially set at 90%, and rises to 95% beginning January 1, 2012.

Retailer and Distributor Notice new button


Summer is here, and with the warmer weather, sales of small cans of automotive refrigerant are at their peak. These products are regulated in California, and retailers selling them must ensure that all requirements pertaining to the sales of certified products are met. In addition, distributors handling this product have regulatory requirements to meet as well. Penalties may be assessed for any violation of this regulation pursuant to the Health and Safety Code.

The requirements for California retailers are available at this LINK.

The requirements for California distributors are available at this LINK.

Press Release

Annual Reporting Forms (PDF format - 1,721KB; Excel format - 123KB)

PLEASE NOTICE: The deadline for the annual reporting for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers is March 1, 2017 for calendar year 2016. Please fill out the appropriate forms and return via email attachment to Dr. Yahui Yang or mail to the address listed in the forms.

Consumer Video

Executive Orders Relating to Refundable Container Deposit

The deposit amount will remain at $10 until the next evaluation of the average return rate in 2014.

Executive Orders Relating to Certification of Small Containers of Automotive Refrigerant

Final Regulation (PDF - 55KB)

Fact Sheets

Rulemaking Activities

Workshops and Meetings