1. 2014 Statistics for Methyl Bromide in QPS Applications in Taiwan

    In Taiwan, when organizations, firms or factories apply to the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (EPA) for permission to use methyl bromide in quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) applications they shall also report the categories of the fumigated products and amounts to be used.
    Since Taiwan does not produce methyl bromide, importing is the only way to satisfy the domestic demands. The imports in 2014 were mainly from Belgium, China and Israel. The statistics of imports, exports, sales and use amounts over the past years are shown in Figure 1. It shows a cause-and-effect relationship between the imports and usage amounts, and a clear decline trend in all amounts. When the amount of used methyl bromide is more than that imported, it indicates importers used supplies from their stock. This prevents emissions from rusted cans due to long storage and humid weather in Taiwan.

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    Figure 1. The imports, exports, sales and use amounts of methyl bromide in QPS applications

    According to the declaration documents from the users, the total methyl bromide amount used for QPS applications in 2014 was 33,342 kilograms, which was the lowest in the past few years. Around 48% of the total methyl bromide amount, or 16,140 kilograms, were used for quarantine. The other 52% (17,202kg) were used for mainly pre-shipment purposes. Comparing with 2013, the annual used amount of methyl bromide in 2014 was 33% less for quarantine and was 12% less for pre-shipment. The statistics of historical methyl bromide use in QPS applications is shown in Figure 2.

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    Figure 2. Statistics of historical methyl bromide use in QPS applications

    The amount of methyl bromide used by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) in 2014 was 16,140 kilograms in total. The main application was for imported fruits and vegetables, which comprised 37%. The second and the third major application were for imported wood and products made of wood and timber, which comprised 24% and 20%, respectively. Firms and factories used 17,202 kilograms, among which the major amount was for exported wooden packing (accounting for 58% of the total amount used by firms). The second was for imported or exported wood and products made of wood, and the third was for other exported personal items, each comprised around 16%. The details are shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4.

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    Figure 3. Distribution of methyl bromide used by BAPHIQ in 2014


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    Figure 4. Distribution of methyl bromide used by firms and factories in 2014

    Again, the Taiwan EPA called on all importers and users of methyl bromide to avoid using methyl bromide fumigation when there are alternatives available, such as formalin, phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, steaming or heat treatment, in order to protect the ozone layer.

  2. Taiwan EPA Finalizes Annual Quota Allocations of HCFCs for 2015

    The Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (EPA) called a meeting on April 30, 2015 and finalized the 2015 HCFC quota allocation for manufacturers and importers. According to the “Regulations for Consumption Management of HCFCs” (HCFC regulations) that was modified in 2014, the limited allocations for HCFCs in each year from 2015-2019 is set at 63,816 ODP kilograms, which is 10% of the national consumption baseline (638,156 ODP kg), the same as the mandate specified in the Montreal Protocol.

    According to Article 9 of the HCFC regulations, the Taiwan government shall reserve 10% of the annual limited allocation for public construction works, national defense, or emergency purposes. Once again in this year, because there was no special need for the uses mentioned above over the past year, the government released the reserve for market quota allocations. The quota of users and importers were calculated based on their actual amount used, reported and audited using the principles approved by the board members.

    According to the actual allocation results in 2015, 21 among 44 users were allocated with 0 ODP kg due to bans on their quotas in 2015. However, the 21 users will be qualified for the next two years to apply for quotas for service and maintenance usage. The amount of 40,159.84 ODP kg were allocated to the other 23 users and 23,655.76 ODP kg are allocated to 10 distributing suppliers. The shares between industrial users and importers are 63% and 37%, respectively.

    To ensure that the demands by refrigeration and air-conditioning production, maintenance and service are satisfied, according to the law these users have had the priority in HCFC allocations over the years. Some users reported that HCFC-22 was only used for new equipment or system in 2014, an application that was ceased by regulations since 2015. Thus, the allocation amount for the users in 2015 is 30 ODP tonnes less than 2014. On the other hand, the allocation amount for the suppliers is 65 ODP tonnes less than it was in 2014 due to the decrease of the total allocation amount. In addition, by reducing the amount of HCFC refrigerant supply, it will encourage the market to replace old equipment with higher efficiency and non-ODS using equipment.

    All HCFC importers and users should complete import procedures and get shipment release from the customs authorities by the end of December 2015. According to Article 6 of the "Regulations for Consumption Management of HCFCs", the uses of HCFC-22 refrigerant for new refrigeration and air-conditioning products and new construction facilities are prohibited. All companies should stop using HCFC-22 in new equipment production and facility construction, and bear the responsibility to inform all their clients and other related units, in order to prevent a shortage of refrigerant supply or system rise in prices after other HCFC import phase-down of 0.5% is implemented in 2020.

    In addition, the EPA once again reminds users and suppliers that according to the law the quotas may not be resold or re-engaged in any distribution business. Meanwhile, HCFC users should declare the device numbers and customer contact information for the actual uses for maintenance and services application after July 2015 for review by the EPA.

  3. The Taiwan EPA Held Training on Tackling ODS Smuggling in 2015

    Although Taiwan is not a Party to the Montreal Protocol, it has voluntarily complied with directives to phase out ODS consumption and production. However, there are still unscrupulous businessmen that smuggle ODS to Taiwan or make false declarations that violate HCFCs regulations.

    To tackle ODS smuggling, the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan(EPA) holds a training on tackling ODS smuggling every year to enhance the capability of the custom officials and the coast guard in ODS seizure and to maintain communication with the EPA. This year the EPA held the training at Taichung customs office on June 24. In this training, the Handbook on Tackling ODS Smuggling was introduced, which includes basics of ozone layer protection, how to tackle ODS, and past ODS smuggling cases. According to this training activity, the Taiwan EPA cooperated with the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance and the Coast Guard Administration, Executive Yuan to prevent illegal trade. Since 1998, the government has handled more than 50 cases of ODS smuggling, from which 420 tonnes of ODS were confiscated.

    Taiwan has stopped the production and importation of Halon and CFCs in line with the Montreal Protocol. Currently, Taiwan still imports HCFCs and methyl bromide, but stopped domestic production. However, importers must apply to the EPA for a permit 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 in advance 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.

    30a 1 Fig.1:Tackling ODS smuggling in Taiwan

  4. Taiwan EPA Finalizes Permit Allocations for Methyl Bromide in QPS Applications for the Second Half of 2015

    According to the norms of the Montreal Protocol, the consumption amount of methyl bromide should have been reduced to zero since 2005 in developed countries, and as of 2015 in developing countries. However, the amount of methyl bromide used for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) is not included in the calculation of consumption. At present, most countries can still produce and import methyl bromide for QPS purposes except the members of the EU which stopped the use of methyl bromide for QPS on March 18th, 2010.

    Based on Articles 5 and 10 of the "Regulations for Management of Methyl Bromide" published by the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (EPA) in 2003, methyl bromide importers and users for QPS purposes shall apply to the EPA for permits for the second half of each year by the end of February of that year, and provide the estimated amount needed and related documents.

    The Taiwan EPA convened with experts on May 12, 2015 to examine the permit applications for methyl bromide for the second half of 2015 from users and importers. During the meeting, not only were the sale and purchase documents from importers and users reviewed, but the fumigation certificates, amounts of methyl bromide used and stock status were also closely reviewed and verified. The Taiwan EPA subsequently finalized and approved 17,500.0 kg of 100% w/t and 6,035.7 kg of 98% w/t methyl bromide, which is 23,535.7 kg in total, in the second half of 2015 for those applicants. Figure 1 shows the historical permits for methyl bromide in QPS applications in Taiwan.

    The EPA called on all importers and users of methyl bromide to declare their data for importation, sales and actual use on schedule, to comply with the "Regulations for Management of Methyl Bromide" for QPS purposes only. In order to make methyl bromide usage declaration clearer, the users should fill out "The Table of Methyl Bromide Use Record" honestly every month. The contact details of related clients listed in the table therefore can be reviewed by the EPA at the next declaration and permit application. In addition, workers should pay attention to safety during fumigation and opening containers.

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    Figure 1. Historical quota allocations for methyl bromide in QPS use