1. Taiwan Smashes Series Refrigerant Smuggling in 2010

    Five cases of smuggled series CFC-12 (R-12) and HCFC-22 (R-22) refrigerants were successfully seized by agents from the Taiwan Coast Guard and Customs between January and August, 2010. Four cases of R-12 refrigerant were installed inside secret cabins with high pressure storage tanks in fishing boats. In total, 33,076 Kg of R-12 refrigerant is now being held in custody. One other case of R-22 refrigerant was imported under a legal merchandise title but was actually illegally imported, since a permit from the Taiwan EPA was not issued for it. In total, 8,400 Kg of R-22 refrigerant is being held in custody.


    In accordance with the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that controls Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), the Taiwan Government cooperates with the international community to protect ozone layer by making domestic ODS control laws. Since 1996, CFCs imports were suspended. R-22 an HCFC with high Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP),was limited to import only. Importers or users can only apply for R-22 importation with a quota allocation permit issued by the Taiwan EPA twice a year. Inter alia, R-12 and R-22 are also greenhouse gases (GHGs). The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of R-12 is 10,900 (10,900 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide). The GWP of R-22 is 1,700. Therefore,33 tonnes of R-12 and 8.4 tonnes of R-22 would have the GWP equivalent to 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Stopping illegal refrigerant trades into Taiwan will not only help prevent Ozone Layer damage from unexpected ODS emission, but also help mitigate global warming.


    Regarding to the Article 59 of the Air Pollution Control Act (2006.05.30), in Taiwan, violators of the ODS control regulations may be penalized by six months to five years imprisonment and fines of NT$ 300,000 to NT$ 1.5 million.


    Smugglers imported controlled refrigerants at low prices from China. They intend to sell R-12 for to maintenance retailers, which may be used to confuse customers as a high value product, R-134a. The designs of R-134a based vehicle air conditioning systems have significant differences from older designs for R-12 refrigerant. End-users who put R-12 into R-134a designed systems may shorten the life of the machines. Most smuggled refrigerants also have purity issues, often containing harmful levels of contaminants such as heavy metal debris, moisture, and lubrication oil. Using un-purified refrigerants may cause damage to end-users' air conditioners. Thus, smuggled refrigerants not only ruin the environment, but cause market disorder in Taiwan. People should demand united efforts to protect the environment and refuse refrigerants from unknown sources. We can prevent environmental contamination from unexpected emissions and help to protect end-users' refrigeration and air conditioning systems. The Taiwan government must continue seizing illegal shipments to fulfill the demands of border management as well as international environmental protection affairs. Smugglers shall be punished by imprisonment and high fines if they violate regulations and trade in illegal refrigerants. Illegal refrigerant traders shall be recognized as accomplices to harm the Earth's environment, which belongs to our future generations.


  2. Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) Consumption Statistics in Taiwan

    To comply with the Montreal Protocol and avoid restrictions on trade in ODS, since 1992, the Taiwan government has reported ODS consumption data to the Ozone Secretariat of UNEP. This was done as before by post and E-mail, at the end of July 2009. Current production of any ODS in Taiwan is zero. According to statistics, ODS in Taiwan mainly come from imports and some were used for export. Most of the imported ODS are HCFCs. Methyl Bromide was approved for Quarantine and Pre-shipment (QPS) purposes owing to the Montreal Protocol exemption.


    Abiding by the Montreal Protocol's control measurements, Taiwan's CFCs consumption was reduced to zero and HCFCs consumption has held steady since 1996. The HCFCs consumption baseline was counted as 638.156 ODP tonnes in 1996, with the consumption amount expected to decline step by step. In 2009, HCFCs consumption was 395.811 ODP tonnes, or 62.0% of the baseline amount, which exceeded the requirement of 65% of baseline amount (for developed countries, Non-Article 5 Parties, HCFCs shall be reduced to below 65% of baseline from 2004 till 2009, as Figure 2 shows). The Taiwan government convened a quota allocation committee to fulfill the HCFCs consumption demands from importers and users. Meanwhile, the Taiwan EPA also promoted regulatory measures to suspend certain specific uses step by step so that control measures as outlined by the Montreal Protocol could be conducted. Since 2010, the Taiwan government has followed the developed countries' control levels lowering the HCFCs consumption quota to 25% of baseline. According to the application forms submitted by importers and users, we allocated new approval quota for them that is close to the consumption limit.


    The only ODS producers in Taiwan ceased production of CFCs in 1996 and HCFCs in 2006. In 2009, most imported HCFCs consisted of 5,362 tonnes of HCFC-22 and 909 tonnes of HCFC-141b; and others were 67 tonnes of HCFC-123; and 3 tonnes of HCFC-124. The exported HCFCs consisted of 9 tonnes of HCFC-22. Since 1999, Methyl Bromide was only approved for QPS purposes in Taiwan. Fifty five tonnes of Methyl Bromide were imported in 2009.



  3. Taiwan EPA Finalized Annual HCFCs Quota Allocations for 2010

    The Taiwan EPA finalized HCFCs quota allocations in 2010 for importers and users on 30 April 2010. Due to the 2010 national cap for HCFCs declining from 65% to 25% of the consumption baseline, Taiwan stopped allocating HCFCs in certain applications since 2010, such as any HCFCs in mist propellant, HCFC-141b in cleaning processes in microwave communication products, other electronic cleaning applications, HCFC-141b in low-temperature insulated rigid PU foam and HCFC-22 in producing window type (including split type) air conditioners below 7.1kW, etc. Moreover,the reserved 10% of annual cap belonging to the competent authority for national emergency purposes has been released to importers because the military usually purchases refrigerants from importers directly. However, if the competent authority has emergency needs in 2010, the importers shall return the quota back to the competent authority without conditions.


    Analyzing allocation statistics for 2010, the quota declined by 255,662 ODP Kg, a 40 percent reduction. Compared with the 2009 quota allocation, the user allocation quota is 93.9 ODP tonnes in 2010 while 242.3 ODP tonnes allocated in 2009. The importer allocation quota is 65.6 ODP tonnes in 2010 while 172.4 ODP tonnes allocated in 2009. In 2010, the numbers of users decreased from 74 to 55; the numbers of importers decreased from 11 to 10.


  4. Taiwan EPA Finalized the Quota Allocation of Methyl Bromide in QPS Applications for the Last-Half of 2010

    According to Articles 5 and 10 in the " Management Regulations of Methyl Bromide " in Taiwan, the importers and users shall apply to the central competent authority before the end of February every year for importation and use permits, using declarations of current calendar year estimations based on amounts used during the last-half year. The application flow chart is as follows:



    Fig. The application flow chart for the amount of importation and use of Methyl Bromide in QPS applications


    According to regulations, the Taiwan EPA convened with professionals on the Methyl Bromide quota allocations on 29 April 2010 with the applicants' declared application documents. The quota allocation principles are:


    1. The quota allocation for the last-half of year 2010 is based on the verified amount used in the same period in 2009. The exact quota shall be allocated by reviewing application document contents (including current stock conditions). If the quota applied for is lower than the amount was in the same period the previous year, then the quota approved shall be the same as the amount requested on the application form.
    2. If fumigation certificates or application documents are either missing or incomplete (such as without signatures or with unidentified processed categories), a 15% quota allocation reduction shall be considered for the application.
    3. Comparison of data between the economic recession in 2009 and revival in 2010, the amount of Methyl Bromide applied for shows an increasing trend. However, as an Ozone Depleting Substance, Methyl Bromide shall remain under controlled limits. Therefore, if applicants apply for a Methyl Bromide quota with fully completed documents and demand larger amounts than previous verified usage amounts, the committee shall only approve 15% of quota in addition for applicants. The additional amounts may fulfill the fumigation demand due to economic revival.

    The meeting not only reviewed the sale and purchase documents from importers and users, but also verified the fumigation certificates provided by users and statistics on amounts of Methyl Bromide used in QPS applications. After the meeting, the Taiwan EPA approved to allocate 15.8 tonnes of 100% w/t and 15.0 tonnes of 98% w/t Methyl Bromide for the last-half of 2010 applications. Meanwhile, the Taiwan EPA appealed to all importers and users to declare data of importation, sales and actual use records on schedule, based on the regulations.


 

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Directed by ︰epa Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C. ( Taiwan )
Edited by ︰itri Industrial Technology Research Institute