Published on 19 - August - 2012
Customs officers to receive awards for illegal refrigerant seizures
EUROPE: Customs officers from Europe and central Asia are to receive awards for preventing the illegal/unnecessary shipment of 116 tonnes of refrigerants and other ozone-depleting substances.
Customs and enforcement officers from China, The EU, Finland, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia FYR, Russia, Serbia and Uzbekistan will receive the Ozone Protection Award 2012 of UNEP's Regional Ozone Network for Europe & Central Asia (ECA network) during the forthcoming Customs Cooperation Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, in October.
Between July 2010 and August 2012, the award winners reported 14 successful seizures of 72 pieces of equipments and 2990 refrigerant cylinders containing more than 35 tonnes of ozone-depleting chemicals and mixtures. In addition, informal Prior Informed Consent (iPIC) consultations prior to the issuance of trade licenses avoided 13 unwanted / illegal shipments of more than 81 tonnes of ozone-depleting chemicals and mixtures.
Consumption of CFCs has been banned worldwide since January 2010 and the future challenge will be the increasing trade in methyl bromide and HCFCs. Usage controls and bans are already in place in many areas of the world but methyl bromide will be banned worldwide from 2015 and HCFCs from 2040.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the global trade in HCFCs in bulk amounts is currently around 1,000,000 tonnes per year. There are no exact figures on the magnitude of illegal trade, but in the 1990s, the illegal trade in CFCs was estimated to be 20,000 tons per year, worth some US$150-300m and equivalent to over 12% of global CFC production.
In the 2000s, global ODS smuggling was estimated to be 7,000-14,000 tonness per year, worth around US$25,000,000 to US$60,000,000. The Sky Hole Patching operation in 2006-2007
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