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Saint Lucia completes training of officers in monitoring trade in ozone depleting substances

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Thursday January 22, 2009 –  Saint Lucia has been monitoring the control of trade in ozone depleting substances (ODS), through the implementation of the Montreal Protocol Act and Regulations since 2002. ODS are chemicals that contain chlorine and bromine and are harmful to the earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the stratosphere and protects life on earth from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.


Whilst developed countries have already phased out the first group of ODS to be controlled, developing countries have a target date of 2010 to phase out CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons. CFCs are refrigerants used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, including water coolers and vehicle air conditioning units. Preliminary 2008 data for Saint Lucia reveal that CFCs have been phased out, 2 years ahead of the 2010 deadline. As of January 15, 2009, no one will be permitted to import CFCs and the prohibition on the import of equipment containing CFCs continues.


The Ministry, through the Sustainable Development and Environment Section, will be completing a series of training for Customs and Marine Police Officers in the Enforcement of Trade Controls for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) which commenced in September 2008. The final session will be held on Friday, 23 January, 2009, in Vieux-Fort.


The main objective is to provide Customs and Marine Police Officers with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify and report cases of illegal trade in ODS at the various air and sea ports and during wider boarder control efforts.


To facilitate this monitoring, the Customs Department and Marine Police will be provided with state of the art refrigerant identifiers. These identifiers will enable Customs and Marine Officers to run checks on any refrigeration and air conditioning product, to determine the type of refrigerant contained. This includes refrigerators, vehicle AC units, water coolers and refrigerated containers.


Any cases of illegal trade will be dealt with according to the ozone layer protection and Customs legislation.

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