The European Commission has upheld a complete EU ban from the end of this year on the ozone-depleting chemical halon in ship fire fighting systems. Several member states had requested a three-year extension to the end of 2006. Halon production was banned in all industrialised countries in 1994. Filling of existing halon fire protection systems also became illegal in the EU on 1 January. Meanwhile, the Commission has announced an agreement with the USA, Japan and China for joint research on transport emissions and vehicle testing. See press releases on halon and traffic pollution.
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