Bahrain to ban ozone depleting substances
Manama, September 11, 2009
Bahrain will ban all imports of ozone depleting substances (ODS) from January, said a top environment ministry official.
All products containing such substances will not be allowed to enter the country and returned to their country of origin, said Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife director- general Dr Adel Al Zayani.
These include automobile and truck air-conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, water coolers, ice machines, air-conditioning, heat pump units, aerosol products except medical ones, portable fire extinguisher, insulation boards, panels and pipe covers.
The decision comes after an international treaty last May challenged industries in Bahrain and other developing countries to find alternatives for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), used mainly in air-conditioning and harmful to the ozone layer.
According to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, developing countries are required to comply with new phase-out measures for HCFCs.
It obliges Bahrain and others to freeze their HCFCs consumption levels by 2013 and then comply with reductions of 10 per cent by 2015, 35pc by 2020, 67.5pc by 2025 and 97.5pc by 2030.
The remaining 2.5pc is restricted to the servicing of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment existing between 2030 and 2040, but this is subject to review in 2025.
Dr Al Zayani said the decision had been taken to reduce the impact of substances harmful to the ozone layer.
'Our move has not begun recently as Bahrain ratified the protocol in 1990 and is committed to it.
'To follow it and for fear that the illegal substances will enter the country, the commission and customs have trained their officers on how to determine these substances and products.'
He said to help protect the environment through the monitoring of (ODS) Bahrain hosted a training session for its customs officers.
'Intensive training of customs officers needs to be undertaken to combat the emerging problem of illegal ODS trade that is threatening the success of the protocol.
'Seventy-nine customs officers were trained to become environment inspectors when checking industrial substances harmful to the ozone at the Shaikh Khalifa Harbour and King Fahad Causeway.
'Education Ministry technical and career education directorate trainers were also trained to prepare students and employees on how to deal with these substance.-TradeArabia News Service