Fluorinated greenhouse gases; application for a certificate of competence

The Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the Chambers of Skilled Crafts certify the expertise for activities on systems with fluorinated greenhouse gases such as refrigeration and air conditioning systems.


To work on stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, heat pumps or refrigeration systems in refrigerated trucks or trailers, air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles or other mobile refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, you must hold a certificate of competence.

For the certificate of competence, you normally complete a training course followed by a certificate of competence examination. The examination is offered both by state-approved, private providers and by public bodies such as chambers of industry and commerce (IHK) or chambers of skilled crafts (HWK).

To be admitted to the expert knowledge examination, you must prove that you have completed technical or craft training. The IHK or HWK can exempt you from this requirement if you can prove that you have acquired the prescribed craft skills elsewhere.

If you have successfully completed training as a refrigeration and air-conditioning fitter or refrigeration and air-conditioning fitter, the IHK will certify your expertise upon presentation of your examination certificate. For motor vehicle mechatronics technicians and other apprenticeships in the motor vehicle sector, the IHK can issue you with a certificate for activities on vehicle air conditioning systems.

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Crafts can also recognize the equivalence of foreign certificates of expertise, provided that they meet the technical requirements in Germany.


  • For exemption from the requirement: technical and craft skills acquired through work experience equivalent to those of vocational training.
  • For the certificate with completed training: copy of the final certificate
  • For the certificate for activities on motor vehicles: proof that qualifications according to Regulation (EC) 307/2008 have been imparted during training.
  • For the recognition of foreign certificates of competence: Foreign qualification that corresponds to the German qualification


You apply for the certificate, the recognition of foreign expertise and the exemption from the requirement of training in writing to your IHK or HWK. Especially in the case of recognition of foreign expertise and exemption from the requirement of training, you should seek advice from the chamber before sending your application.

  • The chamber will check your professional experience and your examination certificates.
  • There may be additional verification steps, especially in the case of exemption from the requirement for craft or technical training
  • The chamber issues you a certificate of competence or exemption

After receiving the certificate of expert knowledge, you are allowed to perform the activities that the respective certificate of expert knowledge allows you to perform.

Special notes

There are different subcategories of the certificate of competence. For work on stationary air conditioning and refrigeration systems, there are certificates in categories I to IV. The certificates differ in terms of the size of the systems (refrigerant charge) different activities may be performed. More detailed information can be found in the further notes.



Processing time

The processing time is highly dependent on the individual case and cannot be given as a general rule.

Required documents

  • The following documents are required:

    • Copy of the identity card
    • Additionally, for exemption from the requirement:
      • Proof of qualifying professional activities, if applicable confirmation of the employer about these activities.
      • Possibly further documents, please ask for more details at the office where you want to apply for the exemption.
    • Additional for certificate with completed training
      • Copy of the diploma
    • Additional for certificate for activities on motor vehicles
      • If applicable, certificate of training or further training in the motor vehicle sector
      • Proof of qualifications obtained according to VO (EG) 307/2008
    • Additionally for the recognition of foreign certificates of competence
      • Copy of the foreign professional qualification or foreign certificate of competence
      • Copy of a certificate of further training for the relevant activity in the application
      • Possibly further documents, please ask for more details at the office where you want to apply for the exemption.


  • There are costs in the range of 10 to 200 EUR. The exact amount can be found in the fee schedule of the Chamber.


Objection or administrative court action


Responsible for editing:Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag e.V.

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