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Importing Ozone-Depleting Substances

 

Under Title VI of the Clean Air Act, EPA regulates the import of ozone-depleting substances (ODSHelpODSA compound that contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion. ODS include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, chlorobromomethane, and methyl chloroform. ODS are generally very stable in the troposphere and only degrade under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere. When they break down, they release chlorine or bromine atoms, which then deplete ozone. A detailed list (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/ods/index.html) of class I and class II substances with their ODPs, GWPs, and CAS numbers are available.) into the United States. Requirements differ for virgin and used ODS, as well as for Class I and Class II ODS.

ODS Importer Recordkeeping and Reporting

Importers of ODS into the United States must comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements:

Importing Used Class I ODS

EPA allows the import of used Class I ODS to ease the transition to ODS alternatives. EPA has a petition process to help verify that the ODS were actually used. Petition requirements are available in 40 CFR 82.13(g)(2). EPA must receive the petition 40 working days before the shipment is to leave the foreign port of export.

There is no EPA petition form. The petition may be in any format, but must include the following information about the used Class I ODS:

  1. From what type of equipment was it removed?
  2. Who removed it?
  3. When was it removed?
  4. How much was removed?
  5. What chemical was used to replace the Class I ODS, or was new equipment installed, or was the equipment no longer needed?
  6. If new equipment was installed, what type of equipment is it?

Submit your petition information through ODSPETITIONS@epa.gov so EPA can track your submittal and respond in a timely manner.

Importing Virgin Class II ODS

Consumption allowances are needed to import virgin Class II ODS. Only those persons that hold unexpended consumption allowances are permitted to import the following HCFCs:

  • HCFC-142b
  • HCFC-123
  • HCFC-124
  • HCFC-22

HCFC-141b, HCFC-225ca, and HCFC-225cb have all been phased out. One consumption allowance (i.e., "right to import") permits the import of one kilogram of substance. For example, to import 10 kilograms of HCFC-22, you must hold 10 unexpended HCFC-22 consumption allowances. Consumption allowances are required and expended to import ODS blends that contain HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, or HCFC-124 (such as R-502).

HCFCs can only be imported for allowed uses.

Trading Consumption Allowances

Consumption allowances may be traded. If you do not hold consumption allowances, and you wish to import permitted HCFCs, you must acquire them from a person who does, following EPA regulations at 40 CFR 82.23. Transfers require advance notification to EPA.

EPA provides a listing of persons that hold consumption allowances for Class II substances as of October 2014 to facilitate these transfers, but cannot provide advice or assistance in the brokering of transfers.

Fines for Illegal Importation

Each kilogram of virgin HCFC that is imported or attempted to be imported without an unexpended consumption allowance may be considered a separate violation of the Clean Air Act and subject to a fine of a maximum of $37,500 per kilogram. In addition, criminal penalties may also be applied. If you have questions about whether a company can import HCFCs, please contact us.

Exemptions

Certain imports of virgin HCFCs are exempt from the requirement to hold consumption allowances. These include imports for transformation and heels or transhipments.   

Importing Used Class II ODS

Why EPA Allows the Import of Used Class II ODS

EPA allows the import of used Class II ODS to ease the transition to ODS alternatives. With the continued use of used ODS, the need for new production to meet ongoing need for ODS during the transition period is avoided. To ensure that imported ODS were used and not newly manufactured, EPA has a petition process to help verify that the ODS were actually used.

Petition Requirements for Importing Used Class II ODS

Petition requirements and Agency procedures for reviewing and approving petitions to import used Class II ODS are available in 40 CFR 82.24(c)(3) and (4). Petitions must be received by EPA 40 working days before the shipment is to leave the foreign port of export.

There is no EPA petition form. The petition may be in any format, but must include this information about the used Class II ODS:

  1. From what type of equipment was it removed?
  2. Who removed it?
  3. When was it removed?
  4. How much was removed?
  5. What chemical was used to replace the Class II ODS, or was new equipment installed, or was the equipment no longer needed?
  6. If new equipment was installed, what type of equipment is it?

All petitioners should submit information through ODSPETITIONS@epa.gov so that we can track your submittal and respond in a timely manner.