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Ozone Regulations Update, December 1998

The regulation was agreed by the Environment Council on December 21st 1998.

There were some changes to the text between the Summer 1998 OJ publication and the Environmental Council meeting, and further compromise changes were agreed at the meeting. I have received a full text from David Calpin of (ex) DTLR in the UK, and have compared it with the earlier published proposal. This latest proposal is more likely than not to contain the final provisions for a new regulation, but is dependent on the procedural timetable of the European Parliament.

The main changes relating to refrigeration are noted below. There are substantial changes relating to methyl bromide which I do not list here.

  • The "use" definition includes specifically "refilling".
  • "Placing on the market" HCFC producer limits are now 85% of the 2% cap in 2002, (was 90), 45% in 2003 (was 35), 25% in 2008 (was 5). The final prohibition is end 2009 (was 2014). These limits now only apply to virgin material produced in the EC.
  • For CFCs, the Dec. 1999 ban is now only for "placing on the market by non-producers", with the "use" ban from Dec. 2000.
  • There are some partial and conditional HCFC exemptions for fire-fighting.
  • HCFC use controls have an exemption for military uses to Dec. 2008.
  • Air conditioning equipment below 100 kW cooling capacity produced before 1.1 2003 can use HCFCs.
  • Use of virgin HCFCs for refrigeration and a/c maintenance is allowed until Jan. 2010 ( was 2008).
  • There are some changes of wording relating to foams.
  • The export derogation on HCFC use in products for export is limited to the end of 2009.
  • CFCs, halons and solvents may not be imported for inward processing.
  • Exports of HCFCs to non-parties are allowed until Jan. 2004.
  • The recovery provisions have been tightened. Refrigerants shall be recovered (not "if practicable") and this includes domestic refrigerators and freezers from Dec 2001 ( and everything else as soon as the reg. comes into force). The "if practicable" remains for foams.
  • There is a disposable container ban.
  • Qualification requirements will be reviewed and the EC may propose measures as appropriate.
  • Fixed equipment with a refrigerant charge of more than 3kg shall be checked for leakages annually. The EC will develop notes on best practice to minimise emissions.
  • Bromochloromethane is added as a new controlled substance.

The above summarises what I have noted, but in no way is it a definitive interpretation of the actual text, which should be consulted if clarification or confirmation is required.


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