1. Application Provisions and Review Principles for Methyl Bromide Permits in Taiwan

      According to the regulatory norms of the Montreal Protocol, the consumption amount for methyl bromide has been reduced to zero as of 2015 in all countries. At present, most countries can still produce and import methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment (QPS) purposes; only a few countries apply for Critical Use Exemption (CUE). However, in order to accelerate phasing out ODSs, EU members have stopped all uses of methyl bromide for QPS on March 18, 2010, except for emergencies.

      In Taiwan, “quarantine” refers to the treatment regulated by government agencies to prevent and control the introduction and proliferation of pests (including disease vectors) when importing/exporting goods. Pre-treatment, on the other hand, refers to the non-quarantine fumigation process implemented within 21 days before shipments in order to meet the official requirements of importing/exporting countries.

      In response to international regulatory requirements, the Regulations for Management of Methyl Bromide was published by the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (EPA) in 2003 in order to regulate importation, restrictions, application procedures for importation, uses, and reporting. Hence, importers and users shall submit information to the EPA for review in accordance with the following provisions.


      Methyl bromide users shall declare data on approved uses during the second half of the previous year by the end of the following February, and for the first half of each year by every August, accompanied with related documents.

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      Methyl bromide importers shall declare the approved imported amount and the amount sold for the second half of the previous year by the end of February and for the first half of the year by August.

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      In the meantime, importers and users shall apply to the EPA for permits for QPS purposes by providing the estimated amount needed and related documents:

      • Application form for importation and use of methyl bromide
      • Certificate of importer/export registration/qualification
      • Certificate of factory/company registration issued by competent authority
      • Proof of methyl bromide uses (including quarantine regulations of import country and fumigation certificate, request documents of importer and fumigation certificate, and certificates of quarantine or pre-shipment treatment issued by the competent authorities for animal/plant quarantine or epidemic prevention)

      If any application documents are not complete, the EPA shall order the applicant to correct them within a specified time frame. The EPA will convene with experts to review and examine such documents according to the following principles:

      1.Review of submitted amount used

      Confirming each fumigation is for QPS use:

      • Whether the goods declared to be fumigated with methyl bromide are those required in accordance with related requirements of import/export country
      • According to the fumigation certificates provided, checking whether users comply with rules for fumigating, such as whether wood packaging fumigation is based on the concentration, time and temperature required by ISPM 15, IPPC
      • According to the container information provided, checking whether the fumigation concentration is in line with fumigation rules
      • According to the export declaration, packing list, shipping order or bill of lading provided, checking whether the goods were shipped within 21 days after fumigation

      2.Methyl bromide QPS allocation principle

      • The amount used by each user during the previous year or the same period of the year
      • The amount of applications requested by each user is in accordance with their requirements
      • Issue in accordance with following principles

      ☑ If the application amount is lower than the used amount, the application amount will be issued

      ☑ If the used amount is lower than the stock, none will be issued

      ☑ If the user did not use it in that period, none will be issued

      In view of methyl bromide being a controlled substance in the Montreal Protocol, the EPA called on all users of methyl bromide to use it sparingly and use other alternatives as much as possible. In addition, the EPA will endeavor to reduce the demand for methyl bromide through implementing methyl bromide application provisions and review principles as well as advocating alternatives in order to fulfill our responsibility to protect the ozone layer.

    2. The Taiwan EPA Held Training on Identifying Refrigerants and Tackling ODS Smuggling in 2017

      According to the regulatory norms of the Montreal Protocol, the control schedule for developing countries is 10 years behind developed countries. Although countries have established ODS import and export licensing systems, there are still unscrupulous businessmen risking illegal importation of controlled substances, since the prices of alternatives are higher than the ODSs currently in use.

      In order to prevent the Montreal Protocol from failing to meet phase-out targets and to avoid years of efforts being lost, the DTIE (Division of Technology, Industry and Economics) published the Training Manual for Customs and Enforcement Officers in 2011. This manual is set to strengthen the inspecting authority of customs officials for ODS smuggling.

      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 customs officials and the Coast Guard in ODS seizure and to maintain communication with the EPA. Through 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. In addition to protecting the interests of law-abiding domestic businesses, our international image in complying with international environmental protection conventions is also enhanced.

      This year the EPA held two trainings, one on Feb 16 at the Kaohsiung customs office and the other on Feb 17 at the Southern Coastal Patrol Bureau. The trainings included basics of ozone layer protection, ozone layer protection regulations, ODS import declaration, identification methods, standard operating procedures for tackling smuggled ODS, and sharing past ODS smuggling cases. In addition, the EPA invited experts to demonstrate various inspection tools and devices and tools that smugglers may use to hide ODS. Through actual operation, front line customs officers and inspectors learned how to assess conditions at smuggling scenes.

      By the end of 2016, the EPA, cooperating with customs officials the Coast Guard, has handled more than 50 cases of ODS smuggling, from which 472.9 tonnes of ODS were confiscated. The seized ODSs include CFC-11, CFC-12, HCFC-22, and R408a as well as Halon. Among these, CFC-12 comprised the most, accounting for 60.4%, followed by HCFC-22 at about 16.7%, and Halon at about 14.7%. The historical data is shown in Fig. 1.


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      Fig.1:ODS smuggling crackdowns in Taiwan