1. The Taiwan EPA Finalizes HCFCs Quota Allocations for 2017

    The Taiwan EPA called a meeting on April 4, 2017 and finalized the HCFCs quota allocations for 2017. The results were delivered to all users and importers later via official letters issued on May 12. According to the “Regulations for Management of HCFCs Consumption” (HCFCs regulations) amended in 2014, the limited allocations for HCFCs each year from 2015-2019 is set at 63,816 ODP kilograms, which is 10% of the national consumption baseline (638,156 ODP kg). As specified in Article 9, the government can set a reserve 10% (6,382 ODP kg) for military and other national emergencies before allocating the quotas to users and importers. At this time, the government released all the reserve for allocating to HCFCs suppliers. The quotas for each user and supplier was calculated according to the declared actual use amount and reviewed in the light of the examining principles adopted by the committee.

    The total HCFCs quotas of 2017 was 63,815.6 ODP kg, in which the users accounted for 51% and the suppliers accounted for 49%. The number of qualified users were reduced from 41 to 32, among which 10 users were not allocated. In total, 32,233.89 ODP kg were allocated to the 22 users and 31,581.71 ODP kg were allocated to 10 distributing suppliers.

    To ensure that the demands by refrigeration and air-conditioning production, maintenance and service are satisfied, the HCFCs have been prior allocated to the users over the years. In 2017, the quotas for users was 2.4 ODP tonnes less than it was in 2016, because the number of RAC equipment or systems using HCFCs-refrigerants are reducing. Hence the drop in where the needs of HCFCs for maintenance. The 2.4 ODP tonnes therefore transferred to the suppliers, causing the allocated amount to increase.

    The allocations for 2017 have been completed. Users and suppliers should comply with the HCFCs regulations and import the HCFCs before December 31, 2017 according to the amount and type approved by the EPA. In accordance with Article 6, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3, Item 2 of the HCFCs regulations, using HCFC-22 as refrigerant in manufacturing new RAC products and new construction facilities is prohibited. 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, HCFCs users should declare the information (amounts and purposes) on the actual uses before the end of every season for the next quota allocation review.

    Before the end of December 2017, users still holding issued permits for HCFCs shall apply to the BOFT (Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs) for import licenses by providing the importers with the approval document issued by the EPA. In order to establish a unified regulatory authority for importing and exporting the controlled substances, the EPA has started to build an“import and export electronic visa system for chemicals controlled by the Montreal Protocol.”The system will be transferred from the BOFT to the EPA starting from 2018, simplifying the application procedures. The importers holding EPA-approved documents will be able to directly apply for import and export licenses and customs clearance via the system without contacting BOFT. On July 26, the EPA announced that the draft of Article 12 of the HCFCs regulations will be amended, revising the authority issuing HCFCs import licenses from the BOFT to the central competent authority. More details about the system and the announcement are available on the EPA website.

     


  2. The Taiwan EPA Finalizes Quota Allocations for Methyl Bromide in QPS Applications for the Second Half of 2017

    According to the regulatory norms of the Montreal Protocol, the consumption amount of methyl bromide has been reduced to zero as of 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 18, 2010.

    In response to international regulatory requirements and 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 shall apply to the EPA for permits for QPS purposes for the second half of the year by the end of February, and provide the approved uses data, apply estimated need amount and accompany related documents.

    The EPA convened with experts on May 19, 2017 to review and examine those documents from applicants for issuing uses and import permit of methyl bromide. The issued permits were calculated according to the actual use amount in the second half of 2016 declared by the users, as well as examining principles including the validity of fumigation certificates, uses data, export processing documents, validity of container size. At this time, the EPA approved to issue a total of 24,941 kg for applicants for the second half of 2017, including 20,000 kg of 100% w/t and 4,941 kg of 98% w/t methyl bromide. There is a growth of 10,164 kg comparing to the total issued amount at the previous time. It is supplementary for the zero application for the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, BAPHIQ in the first half of 2017. Figure 1 shows the historical issued permits of methyl bromide for QPS in Taiwan.

     

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    *H1: first half of year, H2: second half of year

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

     

    In order to better understand methyl bromide usage information, the EPA requests all importers and users to truthfully fill out the Table of Methyl Bromide Use Record, so the contact details of related clients listed in the table can be reviewed by the EPA at the next declaration and permit application. In addition, the EPA called on all importers and users of methyl bromide to use methyl bromide sparingly and use other alternatives as much as possible. Moreover, workers should pay attention to safety when fumigating and opening the containers.

    Before the end of December 2017, users still holding issued permits for methyl bromide shall apply to the BOFT (Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs) for import licenses by providing the importers with the approval document issued by the EPA. In order to establish a unified regulatory authority for importing and exporting the controlled substances, the EPA has started to build an “import and export electronic visa system for chemicals controlled by the Montreal Protocol.” The system will be transferred from the BOFT to the EPA starting from 2018, simplifying the application procedures. The importers holding EPA-approved documents will be able to directly apply for import and export licenses and customs clearance via the system without contacting BOFT. For more information on the release date and detailed operating procedures, please pay closely attention to the officially announcement from the EPA.

     

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  3. 2016 Statistics for Methyl Bromide in QPS Applications in Taiwan

    In Taiwan, when users 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.

    The statistics of historical methyl bromide use in QPS applications is shown in Figure 1. According to the declaration documents from the users, the total methyl bromide amount used for QPS applications in 2016 was 37,944 kilograms. Around 71% the total methyl bromide amount, or 26,875 kilograms (with a growth of 6,339 kg, around 30.9% comparing to 2015), were used for quarantine. The amount increased because of the addition of Taipei port container terminal. The other 29% (11,069 kg) were mainly used for pre-shipment purposes, which is 1,841 kg (around 14.3%) less than last year.  Comparing with 2015, the total annual used amount of methyl bromide had an increase of 4,498 kg in 2016.

     

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    Figure 1. Statistics of historical methyl bromide use in QPS applications

    The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) used 100% methyl bromide for quarantine purposes in order to prevent and control the introduction and spread of pests and diseases. In 2016, the main application was for imported fruits and vegetables, which comprised 47.1%. The second and the third major application were for imported timber and wooden products and exported wood and products made of wood, which comprised 27.7% and 12.8%, respectively. The details are shown in Figure 2. On the other hand, firms and factories used 98% methyl bromide for pre-shipment treatments for goods. The major amount used in 2016 was for exported wooden packing (accounting for 47.8% of the total amount used by firms). The second was for other exported personal items, and the third was for exported timber and wooden products, which comprised around 23.4% and 10.8%, respectively. The details are shown in Figure 3.

     

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    Figure 2. Distribution of 100% methyl bromide used by BAPHIQ in 2016

     

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    Figure 3. Distribution of 98% methyl bromide used by firms and factories in 2016

     

    Again, the Taiwan EPA called on all importers and users to use methyl bromide sparingly and avoid 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 as well as our environment.