Ozone-depleting substances—regulation and enforcement
Ozone-depleting substances—regulation and enforcement

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ozone-depleting substances—regulation and enforcement
  • Brexit impact
  • What are ozone-depleting substances?
  • Background to ODS regulation
  • Main requirements of the EU Regulation
  • Offences and penalties
  • Enforcement powers
  • Qualifications for ODS-related work
  • Guidance

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content. For further guidance, see: Brexit—impact on environmental law and Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

What are ozone-depleting substances?

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are man-made chemicals that cause damage to the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. They include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), carbon tetrachloride and methyl bromide.

ODS have been used in refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers, aerosol propellants, solvents and blowing agents for insulation foams.

Background to ODS regulation

The UK and the EU are parties to the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The Vienna Convention is a framework convention, aimed at:

  1. restricting activities likely to damage the ozone layer

  2. cooperation in gathering and exchanging information on the effects of human activities on the ozone layer—see Practice Note: 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

The Montreal Protocol creates a timetable for phasing out and eliminating the production and use of substances that