THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently identified the guidelines for the proper use of refrigerant identifier/analyzer in examining suspicious shipments of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in the country.
The bureau said this is in compliance with its commitment to the scheduled phase out of the ODS as mandated by the Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 to protect the ozone layer.
The protocol on substances that exhaust the ozone layer is an agreement among 129 countries, including the Philippines, which limits the production, application and use of such substances and eventually phase out the consumption of those chemicals.
ODS are chemical substances that have the potential to react with ozone molecules in the stratosphere including Halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, hydrobromoflourocarbons, bromochloromethane and methyl bromide.
The BOC is also prohibiting the importation of ODS-based product or equipment or those whose function relies on the use of ODS.
The bureau disclosed the United Nations Environmental protection through the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR), donated refrigerated identifier/analyzer, which can identify four chemicals among which include tetraflouroethane and hydrocarbon. These equipment will be issued to each and every collection districts.
The BOC said importation of ODS and its alternatives are released from customs only upon presentation of a pre-shipment importation clearance issued by the Philippine Ozone Desk, Environmental Management Bureau and DENR to accredited importers.
In case of a suspicious shipment, an alert or hold order will be issued. During the spot checking and examination, ramdom testing may be conducted using the refrigerant identifier. If proven positive, the product will be subject to seizure.