Illegal trade of ODS

During the ECA network meeting in Turkmenistan (see above), Dr Ezra Clark from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), UK, presented some data on the illegal trade of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Originally a problem in non-Article 5 (developed) countries as they neared total phase-out of CFCs according to the Montreal Protocol, illegal trade is now widespread throughout the developing world - particularly in the Asia-Pacific region which accounts for more than 80% of the world's CFC production and consumption - as Article 5 (developing) countries proceed through their own phase-out schedules. It is estimated that illegal trade of CFCs in 2005 represented 10-20% of legitimate trade i.e. 7000-14 000 tonnes, with an approximate value of between 25-60 million USD. Illegal trade, besides depriving governments and legitimate industry of revenue, undermines the ability of governments to phase out the use of ODS and reduces the incentives for industry to introduce replacement substitutes and technologies. According to EIA, the creation of licensing systems has been the main accomplishment of the Montreal Protocol in the fight against illegal trade but it is manifestly insufficient. Without concerted efforts at both national and international levels, it is likely that the smuggling problem will continue in the future.