Indian agency wins award for record seizures of R-22

According to a report on The Hindu website, in the last year India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized a record of more than 241,463kg of the ozone-depleting restricted refrigeration gas R-22, which has been smuggled into the country.

The DRI is India’s premier intelligence agency dealing with matters relating to the violation of customs law. It has now been awarded the prestigious ECA Ozone Protection Award for Customs & Enforcement Officers (3rd Edition) by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in recognition of its contribution to enforce the trade provisions applicable to ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol.

As a signatory of the Montreal protocol, India is required to phase out consumption and production of ODS chemicals and for which legal framework has been put in place.

The UNEP award aims to provide incentive and recognition to customs and enforcement organisations and its officers, who succeed in preventing illegal or unwanted trade in ODS and ODS equipment. Although the award mainly covers the European, Caucasus and Central Asian region, an exception was made this year due to the remarkable seizures affected by DRI.

DRI is one of the five organisations or individuals to be recognised and awarded the 3rd edition of the award this year, according to officials. A representative from the DRI has been invited to attend the award ceremony in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in May.

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