1. Status of the Draft Amendment for “Regulation for Management of Methyl Bromide”

    Under the Montreal Protocol control timeframe, the production and consumption of methyl bromide shall be frozen at the national baseline amount starting in 1995. Moreover, since 2005 it has only been allowed to be used for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) applications. Among all the international government control actions for methyl bromide, the European Union has been the most active. In 2000, the use of canister with methyl bromide for fumigation purpose was banned with in the EU. In 2001, the EU determined an annual cap for QPS till 2010. Excluded emergency application, after 18 March 2010, the use of methyl bromide in the EU was banned for most purposes, including QPS uses. The government of Brazil also announced a ban on the use of canisters with methyl bromide.


    In order to fully carry out our duty and responsibility to ozone layer protection, the “Regulation for Management of Methyl Bromide” was published by the EPA, Executive Yuan, R.O.C. (Taiwan) on May 21, 2003. It regulates methyl bromide in production, import/export, application and declaration procedures, experts review, and administrative examination work. Currently, more and more countries are gradually paying attention to QPS control. Under the Montreal Protocol, methyl bromide is not only required to use against pests following the national QPS regulations, but is suggested to be used in lower amounts and in correct applications, and follow labor safety requirements. Therefore, to fully and effectively manage methyl bromide in domestic QPS uses, simplify the administrative work for permit issuance, and comply with Article 59 of the Air Pollution Control Act amended in 2006 (article of penalties issues), the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (EPA) drafted an amendment of the Regulation for Management of Methyl Bromide in 2012. The Taiwan EPA has convened three discussion forums with experts, representatives from the related departments and industries. After gathering valuable proposals, the Taiwan EPA has scheduled to announce advanced statute and convened a public legislative hearing this year to fulfill the legislative procedures. The major revised issues in the drafted amendment are as follows:
     

    First of all, to effectively manage methyl bromide in correct applications and to avoid issuing unnecessary permits, the draft amendment includes an additional article about the definition of actual usage amount which will also be recognized as the permit’s calculated amount. The actual usage amount of methyl bromide must be verified by the central competent authority. The end-users shall report the document, aka a proof, noting methyl bromide use certificate, purchase invoice, usage amount, stocking amount. The document of methyl bromide use certificate may include commodity quarantine or sanitary regulations from a related country, fumigation certification issued from a national animal/plant protection organization, or any other document recognized by the central competent authority. Meanwhile, regarding the quarantine/sanitary regulations from the commodity import country, the companies are requested to surrendered import country’s regulation for each treatment case as attached document due to the fact that foreign regulations may be revised at any time without notice. Therefore, the companies should also remind their clients to demonstrate the proof of destination country’s request for methyl bromide fumigation in specific commodity. The companies also have the responsibility to check and review the QPS treatment regulations in any destination country. The duration and concentration of methyl bromide fumigation shall follow the related operational regulations.
     

    The companies may check quarantine use regulations in other countries at the following websites:
     

    (1) The EPPO website sourced from the EU

    http://archives.eppo.int/EPPOStandards/procedures.htm?utm_source=archives.eppo.org&utm_medium=int_redirect
     

    (2) The ICON system sourced from Australia (users may input commodity name then related treatment regulations will be found)

    http://www.aqis.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex_querycontent.asp
     

    The Official Quarantine Certificate is available for any importer or exporter. The applicant shall follow the “Guidelines for the Reporting and Certificate Issuing of Animal and Plant Quarantine” (amended in 2006 by BAPHIQ) and the issued Official Quarantine Certificate will be recognized as a proof document for methyl bromide use.


    Owing to the sanitary condition, pest control companies may inquire the commodity destination country’s authority to confirm whether the methyl bromide fumigation for rats or roaches should be performed in the ship cabin or not. In fact, most countries use pyrethrum extract for the same purpose rather than using methyl bromide. It is no longer recommended to use methyl bromide for environmental sanitation.
     

    To simplify administrative work, the permits issuing frequency will be revised from twice a year to once a year. In the additional article of amendment, the calculating basis for the annual permits, which will be issued in the second half of the year, is based on the actual usage amount in both the second half of the previous year and the first half of the current year. The import license of methyl bromide for any importer will be issued according to approved use permits. Meanwhile, there is an additional article of administrative examination work for methyl bromide QPS report and application in this amendment. The users of methyl bromide who carry out emergency quarantine pest control, academic research or any other approved treatment which is recognized by the Taiwan EPA shall declare their use situation periodically with any related proof document after methyl bromide treatment is performed.
     

    To effectively trace methyl bromide, revised in the drafted amendment, the end users who intend to perform methyl bromide fumigation treatment shall have a pre-approval issued by the Taiwan EPA. The end users can only purchase methyl bromide from certified importers who have permits for such sales. On the other hand, the import dealers are limited to sell methyl bromide to qualified users who have approved permits for its use. Any user who requests to transfer their stocked methyl bromide to another user shall not only get a pre-approval from the Taiwan EPA, but also transfer methyl bromide to users who have permits issued in the same period. Regarding  the shipping date issue, in case any importer delays to import methyl bromide in granted license deadline, the Taiwan EPA has authorization to postpone the permits deadline for import within one month of grace period. It is recommended that the importer should carefully control its import schedule to avoid an unexpected delay.
     

    The draft amendment of Regulation for Management of Methyl Bromide is currently completing its legislative procedure, which is expected to be announced and effective this year. If any company or person has further constructive suggestions, please feel free to respond to the Taiwan EPA. The objectives of controlling methyl bromide’s use are to protect the ozone layer and ecology of the Earth, and to protect humans from UV radiation. In this regard, we urge all users and related authorities to work together and suspend unnecessary methyl bromide use. We also encourage all users to seek environmentally friendly alternatives.


  2. Taiwan EPA Finalizes Quota Allocations for Methyl Bromide in QPS Applications for First Half of 2013

    Although Taiwan is not a Party to the Montreal Protocol, it has voluntarily complied with its directives. Starting in 1993, the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan(EPA)has promulgated relevant public notices, standards or orders for chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs), halons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons(HCFCs)in order to control the manufacture, import, export, sale or use of these controlled substances under environmental conventions, as well as products manufactured from or filled with such substances.
     

    According to the Montreal Protocol, developing countries have later control timeframes for chlorofluorocarbons, halons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons compared to developed countries. Taiwan has implemented the same ODS control measures as developed countries, including a ban on the import of halon in 1994 and CFCs in 1996, and also began phasing out HCFCs in 1996. However, there are still unscrupulous businessmen that smuggle ODS to Taiwan or make false declarations that violate HCFC regulations. To tackle ODS smuggling, protect the earth’s environment and increase the motivation of industries to use alternatives and substitute technologies, the EPA revised the "Air Pollution Control Act" on June 19, 2002. Based on Article 30 of the "Air Pollution Control Act,"the central competent authority may prohibit or restrict substances controlled under international environmental protection conventions that are prone to cause air pollution, as well as the manufacture, import, export, sale or use of products manufactured from or filled with such substances. Those that violate the import or export regulations of the management regulations determined pursuant to Article 30 shall be punished by six months to five years imprisonment and may be fined NT$300,000 to NT$1,500,000. Punishment by imprisonment and high fines are being used to deter ODS smuggling in Taiwan.
     

    In addition, the Taiwan EPA cooperates with the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance and the Coast Guard Administration, Executive Yuan to prevent illegal trade. Since 1998, the government seized more than fifty cases of smuggled ODS. A total of 359 tonnes of ODS were confiscated, and a total of 278 tonnes of ODS were destroyed.
     

    Taiwan has stopped the production and importation of Halon and CFCs in compliance with the Montreal Protocol. Currently, Taiwan still imports HCFCs and methyl bromide, but stopped domestic production. However, importers must apply to the EPA for the permission to import HCFCs and methyl bromide according to the "Regulations for the Consumption Management of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons" and the "Regulations for Management of Methyl Bromide" published by the EPA. To import HCFCs and methyl bromide without applying to the EPA is considered a violation of the law. The EPA called on all local industries not to smuggle ODS for ill-gotten gains. To protect the earth’s environment,please call the EPA if people have information on suspected ODS smuggling activities.

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    Fig.1:Tackling ODS smuggling in Taiwan


  3. Management to counter ODS smuggling in Taiwan

    In Taiwan, the main applications of ozone depleting substances(ODS)are as refrigerants and foam blowing agents. To prevent emission of ODS refrigerants from equipment, the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan(EPA)promulgated the " Regulation for the Management of Controlled Chemicals Under the Montreal Protocol " and "Regulation for the Consumption Management of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons".These regulations require the use of recycling and recovery equipment when handling refrigerants in the filling and dismantling of freezers, refrigeration and air conditioners, as well as only allowing theuse of recovered CFCs in the service and repair of existing equipment. Moreover, the EPA promulgated the "Standard Treatment and Facilities for Recycling, Recovery, Storage and Clearance of Waste Electrical, Electronic Equipment and Information Technology Products" and the "Standard Treatment and Facilities for Recycle, Recovery, Storage and Clearance on Waste Automobiles and Motorcycles". These regulations require the recovery of refrigerants and foam agents from waste refrigerators, air conditioners and vehicles. The EPA’s Recycling Fund Management Board (RFMB)is the main entity responsible for the recovery management.
     

    The EPA has promoted the Four-in-One Recycling Plan(for TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioners)since 1997. According to statistical data from the RFMB, the recycling rate increased from 29% in 2000 to 51% in 2010. With the regulatory requirements on recycling ODS refrigerants and the efforts of relevant industries in recent years, the status of ODS recovery in Taiwan have increased. For the period of 2007-2012, ODS recovery increased from 108 tonnes to 201 tonnes. In 2012, refrigerant was the main application of recovered ODS, at 173 tonnes, mostly from air conditioners. The recovered foam blowing agents amount was only 28 tonnes. The ODS recovery details are shown in Table 1. Because annual air conditioner production was higher than production of other equipment in Taiwan, and also because the refrigerant leakage rate of stationary equipment is lower than that of constantly moving automobiles, the recovery rate of ODS was highest for air conditioners.
     

    In 2011, in order to strengthen recycling measures for refrigerants, the EPA specifically issued the monthly average minimum requirements for CFCs recycled from abandoned equipment at processing plants:
     

    • Insulating foam blowing agents from waste refrigerators: an average of 0.07 kg recycling volume from each end-of-life fridge with monthly report.
    • Refrigerant from waste refrigerators: an average of 0.03 kg recycling volume from each end-of-life fridge with monthly report.
    • Refrigerant from waste air-conditioners: an average of 0.2 kg recycling volume from each end-of-life air-conditioner with monthly report.
    • Refrigerant from waste vehicles: an average of 0.09 kg recycling volume from each end-of-life vehicle with monthly report.

    To ensure that discarded electrical and electronic equipment are recycled, starting on July 1, 2011, vendors of refrigerators and air-conditioners are required to provide consumers with the "Notice of Consumer Information Confirmation" and the "Recycling, Clearance and Treatment Control Manifest” to fill out on the sales. This provides consumers with a free disposal and recycling service, and they can even track the appliance during the recycling process to make sure it is properly treated. The implementation of this new system will ensure the proper recycling and treatment of the end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment and avoid environmental pollution from hazardous substance emissions.

     

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    Fig.1:The Status of ODS Recovery in Taiwan


     

 

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