Press releases

Tuesday 24 Aug 1999

Licencing agreement on trade in ozone depleting substances enters into force

Nairobi, 23 August 1999 - The Montreal Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer agreed in Montreal in September 1997 is due to enter into force on 10 November 1999. The Montreal Amendment, the third of such Amendments since the original Montreal Protocol was concluded in 1987, should have entered into force on 1 January 1999 provided that at least twenty instruments of ratification had been deposited by states or regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Montreal Protocol. This condition was not fulfilled on that date as the requisite twenty ratifications were achieved on 12 August 1999 and the Amendment is now expected to enter into force on the ninetieth day i.e. 10 November 1999.

The Amendment, provides, among other things, for Parties to establish and implement a system for licensing the import and export of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by 1 January 2000 and report to the Secretariat on the establishment of such a system.

"The entry into force of this Amendment is a timely measure which should assist the international community to monitor trade in ozone depleting substances and curb potential illegal trade" said Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). "I appeal to all countries that are yet to ratify this Amendment to do so as soon as possible and establish the licensing systems for import and export of ozone-depleting substances. There is also a need to put in place the mechanism for enforcement and compliance with such systems", he added.

The Montreal Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was negotiated and concluded by Parties to the Montreal Protocol out of the growing concern that as more and more countries phased out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, illegal trade in ODS amounting to about 30,000 tons annually was finding its way back into those countries thus undercutting the measures put in place to phase out ODS.

The Montreal Amendment also provides for a ban in the export or import of methyl bromide from states not party to the Montreal Amendment to the Protocol, one year after the Amendment enters into force. The Amendment also contains a provision for Parties who are unable to cease production of ODS after phase out dates of any substances, to ban the export of used, recycled and reclaimed substances other than for the purpose of destruction.

To date, the Amendment has been ratified by Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Djibouti, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Hungary, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The primary purpose of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its Amendments is to phase-out both production and consumption of ODS according to the schedule provided in the Protocol in order to protect human health and the environment.

*****

For more information, please contact:
K. Madhava Sarma,
Executive Secretary,
Ozone Secretariat,
UNEP.
Tel.: 254-2-623885; Fax: 254-2-623913,
E-mail: madhava.sarma@unep.org;

Tore J. Brevik,
UNEP Spokesman and Director of Communications and Public Information Branch, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: (254-2) 623292; Fax: 623692;
Email: tore.brevik@unep.org
or
Patricia L. Jacobs,
Media Unit,
(254-2) 623088; Fax: 623692;
Email: patricia.jacobs@unep.org

UNEP News Release 1999/91

Tuesday 24 Aug 1999
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