Pacific Island Countries plan to Label HCFC Cylinders

Date: 24 August 2021
Pacific Island Countries plan to Label HCFC Cylinders
Pacific Island Countries plan to Label HCFC Cylinders
Pacific Island Countries plan to Label HCFC Cylinders
Sixteen participants (seven female and nine male) from seven Pacific Island Countries (PIC) joined a virtual meeting on 23 July 2021 to discuss the use of mandatory hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) cylinder labelling requirements to further enhance the enforcement of their licensing systems. The meeting was hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), Asia and the Pacific Office.

The key principle of a mandatory HCFC cylinder labelling requirement is that any imported HCFC containers have a non-detachable sticker by the authority attached before they can be put on the domestic market. This initiative renders several win-win benefits for the country, the industry, and end-users: enabling the enforcement authority to identify the illegally-imported HCFC during their regular inspection in the domestic market and protecting servicing technicians from the health risks caused by mislabeled refrigerants, which has been a widespread problem in the region  (equipment using a refrigerant different from the one it was originally designed for will be cross-contaminated and that has implications on its performance, shortening its lifetime and creating safety risks for the end-users).  

Through a case study of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the meeting reviewed mechanisms/approaches to set up and effectively implement the labelling system, discussed the key steps of inspection, attaching stickers, developing and maintaining a labelling database and monitoring in the local market. The meeting also explored how to collaborate with enforcement agencies in the process, and how to handle mislabelled refrigerants identified during the customs clearance process or a market inspection.

The PICs agreed to initiate stakeholder consultations to set up a policy framework including the development of clear and practical standard operating procedures, forming an inspection team, and designing and printing national stickers, as part of the Regional HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage II.

Ms. Tumau Neru, Principal Ozone Officer, National Ozone Unit of Samoa mentioned that “Samoa have regularly implemented market inspection to gauge the situation of illegal trade in the country.  The implementation of the mandatory labelling requirement will certainly strengthen our existing monitoring and inspection operation.  The technicians will be encouraged to purchase only cylinders that carry the government sticker.  This initiative is extremely useful not only to enhance our monitoring mechanism but also to protect our industry and end-users.”

Mr. Shaofeng Hu, Senior Montreal Protocol Regional Coordinator, UNEP, added “UNEP has extensive experience in assisting countries in implementing mandatory labelling requirements in the Southeast Asia Network, which has been proven as an effective tool with multiple benefits.  Experience from these countries has been customized to suit the context of the PIC, which can be further explored for HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) control in the future.”

Related News


generated: 0.009