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Cabinet Decision on the Bill of the Cabinet Order for Partial Revision of the Order for Enforcement of the High Pressure Gas Safety Act To transfer some authorities from prefectural governors to the heads of government-ordinance designated cities and to simplify and remove some procedures involving the regulations for carbon dioxide refrigerants used in commercial refrigeration units

Under its reform for the autonomy and independence of local authorities, Japan has been advancing efforts for transferring certain authorities from prefectural governors to the heads of government-ordinance designated cities. In this context, from April 1, 2018, administrative practices, excluding some specific affairs, under the High Pressure Gas Safety Act will be transferred to the heads of government-ordinance designated cities. This effort will contribute to providing the public with more community-based administration for industrial security.

Meanwhile, as carbon dioxide refrigerants are considered an alternative material for the existing fluorocarbon refrigerants for their low global warming potential and high efficiency of energy consumption, the dissemination of carbon dioxide refrigerants is strongly expected in the future. Against this backdrop, the government of Japan decided to streamline the regulations for carbon dioxide refrigerants based on the confirmation of the safety in utilizing the refrigerants. This effort will contribute to simplifying and removing some related procedures, e.g., those for the utilization of commercial refrigeration units in which carbon dioxide refrigerants are used.

1. Outline of the Bill of the Cabinet Order

(1) Transferring some authorities from prefectural governors to the heads of government-ordinance designated cities

Under its reform for the autonomy and independence of local authorities, Japan has been advancing efforts for transferring certain authorities from prefectural governors to the heads of government-ordinance designated cities. In this context, from April 1, 2018, some authorities for administrative practices under the High Pressure Gas Safety Act will be transferred to the heads of government-ordinance designated cities (For target cities, see the Appendix). However, even after this date, prefectural governors will continue to undertake specific administrative practices and other related affairs involving areas with complex sites as well as business offices processing a large amount of high-pressure gas.

Note: The details of this practice are scheduled to be stipulated by a public notice.

This effort will contribute to providing the public with more community-based administration for industrial security, and also to enhancing the efficiency of related practices, e.g., facilitating schedule coordination for security inspection.

(2) Simplifying the regulations for carbon dioxide refrigerants

Among refrigerants used in commercial refrigeration units, carbon dioxide refrigerants are considered an alternative material for the existing fluorocarbon refrigerants for their low global warming potential and high efficiency of energy consumption.  Since the technology concerning carbon dioxide refrigerants has been making progress and the safety in utilizing such refrigerants was confirmed, from July 25, 2017, METI will streamline the related regulations including relaxing administrative procedures for businesses in utilizing refrigeration units using carbon dioxide refrigerants.

Specifically, if businesses handle such units with a refrigerating capacity of 20 tons or more and less than 50 tons, they will be required to submit a notification, relaxing the existing procedure for receiving permission, while businesses handling such units with a refrigerating capacity of less than 20 tons will not be required to submit any notification. This effort is expected to contribute to the further dissemination of carbon dioxide refrigerants.

Release date

July 14, 2017

Division in Charge

High Pressure Gas Safety Office, Industrial and Product Safety Policy Group

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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