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Substances affecting the ozone layer

The European Union (EU) wishes to phase out substances which deplete the ozone layer in order to protect human health and the environment. To contribute towards this objective, this Regulation integrates the provisions of the Montreal Protocol. It prohibits the production and placing on the market of the most dangerous substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). It also lays down rules for the use of these substances and conditions for their export or import.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

SUMMARY

This Regulation replaces Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000. It brings the Community rules into line with technical developments and changes made to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It therefore enables the European Union (EU) to continue its worldwide action to protect the ozone layer and guarantee its recovery.

Scope

This Regulation covers:

  • controlled substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), etc. (see Annex I);
  • new substances (see Annex II);
  • products and equipment containing or relying on such substances.

Prohibitions

The production, placing on the market and use of controlled substances or products and equipment containing these substances shall be prohibited, with the exception of certain uses as feedstock * or process agents *, or laboratory and analytical uses.

The placing on the market and use of fire protection systems and fire extinguishers containing controlled substances, particularly halons, shall be prohibited.

Derogations

Controlled substances may be produced, placed on the market and used as feedstock or as process agents. These substances may also be used for laboratory or analytical uses. The quantity annually authorised shall be restricted by a system of quotas. Producers and importers must have a licence which is granted for a limited period by the competent authority of the Member State concerned.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) shall be phased out. No HCFCs may be produced after 31 December 2019.

The use of methyl bromide has been prohibited since 18 March 2010, except in an emergency, to prevent the spread of pests or disease. However, this derogation applies only for a period not exceeding 120 days and a quantity not exceeding 20 tonnes.

Halons may be placed on the market and used for critical uses (see Annex VI).

Any producer or importer authorised to use or place controlled substances on the market may transfer those rights to other producers or importers of such substances within the Community. Any transfer shall be notified in advance to the Commission.

A producer may also be authorised to exceed established levels of production, on condition that the maximum level of national production is not exceeded.

Trade

Imports and exports of controlled substances and of products and equipment containing such substances shall be prohibited.

Nevertheless, derogations exist for certain uses of controlled substances or for their destruction according to appropriate methods.

Imports and exports shall be subject to the issue of a licence. Such licences shall be issued by the Commission using an electronic licensing system.

Control of substances

Undertakings must put in place systems for the recovery of controlled substances contained in:

  • refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment;
  • equipment containing solvents;
  • fire protection systems and fire extinguishers.

Once recovered, these substances must be recycled, reclaimed or destroyed in an environmentally acceptable manner in order to prevent their release into the atmosphere.

Undertakings must also take measures to avoid any risk of leakage or release of controlled substances. Any undertaking which operates equipment containing such substances must carry out regular checks for leakage. If leakage is detected, the undertaking must repair it as soon as possible and in any case within 14 days after detection.

Context

The ozone layer protects organisms living on Earth from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the 1980s, scientists observed a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer due to emissions of man-made chemical substances. This depletion of the ozone layer is causing an increase in UV radiation which is dangerous for man, in whom it causes skin cancers in particular, and for ecosystems. The international community took rapid action by first of all adopting the Vienna Convention in 1985 and then the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

The Montreal Protocol requires signatories to phase out ozone-depleting substances according to a pre-established schedule. Twenty years after its adoption, the Montreal Protocol represents a model multilateral environmental agreement.

Key terms of the Act
  • Feedstock: any controlled substance or new substance that undergoes chemical transformation in a process in which it is entirely converted from its original composition and whose emissions are insignificant.
  • Process agents: controlled substances used as chemical process agents in the applications listed in Annex III.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009

1.1.2010

30.6.2011

OJ L 286 of 31.10.2009

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version  has a purely documentary value.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Decision 2010/209/EU of 26 March 2010 on the allocation of import quotas for controlled substances for the period 1 January to 31 December 2010 under Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 89 of 9.4.2010].

Last updated: 09.12.2010
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