The Commerce Commission has authorised a proposal for refrigerant wholesalers to enter into a voluntary agreement which contains an exclusionary provision.


The Refrigerant License Trust Board applied for an authorisation because it considered that the agreement would exclude the supply of refrigerants to those parties who were not properly trained and certified. It also considered that the agreement might lessen competition in the refrigerants market.


"The Commission agrees that the proposed agreement contains an exclusionary provision which might lessen competition in the refrigerants market. However, the exclusionary provision is likely to lead to increased compliance with safety regulations, so the public benefits outweigh any detriments. Therefore, the Commission was required to grant authorisation," said Dr Mark Berry, Commerce Commission Chair.


You can view the final decision shortly on the Commission's website at:



The Refrigerant License Trust Board is a charitable trust established by parties in the refrigerant industry which has the purpose of promoting, educating, and training people in the safe handling of refrigerants.


What is an application for a restricted trade practice authorisation?

Under section 61 of the Commerce Act, the Commission can grant authorisation for a practice that may, in the applicant's view, breach the restrictive trade practice provisions of the Commerce Act.

The relevant markets for the purpose of the Commission's analysis were those for the importation and wholesale supply of all refrigerants, the supply and installation of refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and the service and maintenance of refrigeration and air conditioning systems.