HCFC phase-out in South Asia: the case of Vietnam and the Maldives

The HCFC phase-out is underway in South Asia. For instance, Vietnam met the 35% reduction target for 2020 while the Maldives recorded no HCFC import in 2020. 

In September 2007, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to accelerate the phase-out schedule for HCFCs through Decision XIX/6. Under this agreement, developing countries (operating under Article 5 of the Protocol) agreed to start the HCFC phase-out process in 2013 and are now following a stepwise reduction until the complete phase-out of HCFCs by 2030. During the period 2030–2040, an annual average of 2.5% of baseline HCFC consumption will be allowed for servicing of refrigeration equipment. [1] 


HCFC Phase-out schedule (consumption and production) for countries operating under Article 5 of the Montreal Protocol (i.e. developing countries) [1]


Baseline Average of 2009 and 2010
Freeze 2013
90% (reduction of 10%) 2015
65% (reduction of 35%) 2020
32.5% (reduction of 67.5%) 2025
0% (reduction of 100 %) 2030
Allowance of  2.5% of base level consumption for servicing of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment existing on 1 January 2030 2030 to 2040



Since 2018, the HCFC phase-out has been on track among countries in the South Asia. Most countries in the region have advanced in the preparation of the second phase of their HCFC Phase out Management Plans (HPMP Stage-II), while some have already started implementing them. [2] 


HCFC phase-out in Vietnam [3] 


In Vietnam, the second phase of the country's HPMP project for 2018-2023 is being implemented by the Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. According to the HCFC phase-out schedule for Article 5 Parties, developing countries must have reduced their HCFC consumption by 35% by 2020. National statistics indicate that Vietnam has met this target.  The country consumed 2,600 tonnes of HCFC substances in 2020, which represents a 35% reduction from its baseline consumption. This also represents a 27.8% decrease from a consumption level of about 3,600 tonnes in 2019.  

In the air conditioning sector, the selected alternatives to HCFCs are R32 and R290. In the refrigeration sector, the selected alternatives to HCFCs are R32, ammonia (NH3) and R744 (CO2). 


HCFC phase-out in the Maldives [4-7] 


The Government of the Maldives has committed to completely eliminating the use of HCFCs by 2025, using only 2.5% of the baseline consumption for servicing purposes. [4]  In 2010, 67 metric tonnes of HCFCs were imported into the Maldives. In 2020, the country became the first developing nation to completely phase out HCFCs, and none was imported that year. [5]  


The Maldives is a tropical island country with a hot and humid climate. The country's fisheries and tourism sectors are the largest consumers of ozone-depleting substances and their alternatives. The country is currently facing the challenge of finding low-GWP alternatives to replace or retrofit HCFC and HFC equipment in these sectors. [6, 7] 




[1] The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Nineteenth Meeting of the Parties. Decision XIX/6: Adjustments to the Montreal Protocol with regard to Annex C, Group I, substances (hydrochlorofluorocarbons). https://ozone.unep.org/treaties/montreal-protocol/meetings/nineteenth-meeting-parties/decisions/decision-xix6-adjustments-montreal-protocol-regard-annex-c-group-i-substances 

[2] https://www.unep.org/ozonaction/south-asia  

[3] https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnams-hcfc-consumption-down-35-percent-in-2020/207294.vnp  

[4] https://www.mv.undp.org/content/maldives/en/home/projects/HCFCPhaseoutManagementPlan.html  

[5] https://www.unep.org/ozonaction/news/news/cool-move-maldives-becomes-first-developing-country-quit-hcfcs  

[6] https://www.environment.gov.mv/v2/wp-content/files/2020/tenders/iul-438-env-438-2020-187-ten-refrigeration-and-air-conditioning-equipment-retrofit-tor.pdf  

[7] https://www.environment.gov.mv/v2/en/download/10542