FRANCE: Awards are to be made to 17 countries, the European Commission and OLAF, the European Fraud Office, for their efforts to combat the trade in illegal refrigerants.
The customs and enforcement officers from the nominated countries in Europe and Central Asia will receive Montreal Protocol medals and certificates for their involvement in a total of 64 seizures during the period 2019-2020. This included 14,617 refrigerant cylinders and ISO containers with more than 380 tonnes of HFCs, HCFCs and CFCs, and 215 pieces of equipment.
Informal prior informed consent (iPIC) consultations between ECA countries and their trade partners prior to the issuance of the mandatory export and import licenses avoided 12 unwanted/illegal shipments of more than 167 tonnes of HCFCs and halons during the same period.
The awards have been validated by the World Customs Organization, the Ozone Secretariat and UNEP Law Division’s OzonAction Programme. In addition to the European Commission and OLAF, the recipients countries are Bulgaria, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan
Top performers were Poland, which detected more than 31 tonnes of illegal HFC imports during 2019-2020, and Spain, which detected illegal venting of more than 100 tons of refrigerants from recycling centres and illegal exports of more than 589 tonnes of hazardous waste.
OzonAction’s Montreal Protocol Network for Europe and Central Asia (ECA network) is currently producing the award medals and preparing a virtual award ceremony which is tentatively scheduled for March.