New EU rules on ozone-depleters in force

Regulations include tougher timetables than Montreal Protocol for some substances

New EU controls on the production and use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) entered into force over the weekend. Three regulations implement international obligations under the UN Montreal protocol (ENDS Daily 7 December 1999) and, in some cases, go beyond them. They were first proposed by the European Commission over two years ago (ENDS Daily 1 July 1998).

The first regulation imposes tighter restrictions on most ODSs, including controversial phase-out timetables for most of the CFC substitute chemicals, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and on the agricultural pesticide methyl bromide. It also includes immediate bans on the use and sale of most CFCs, carbon tetrachloride and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. The regulation was finalised politically before the summer break (ENDS Daily 20 June).

The two other regulations alter the base year for company-by-company HCFC production and import quotas (ENDS Daily 14 September) and update restrictions on the use of CFCs in medical inhalers, medical equipment being one of the last remaining areas largely exempt from controls.

Follow Up:
EU Official Journal, and regulations on ODSs, metered dose inhalers, and HCFC quotas.

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