EU Commission clarifies ozone regulation for freight transport market

The European Commission has today clarified when the EU's ban on ozone-depleting substances (ODS) applies to intermodal containers used in international transport.

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Conflicting with the EU’s ODS ban is the international trade conventions requirement that the free movement of containers is not restricted.

However, the EU’s 2009 Ozone Regulation prohibits the import or export of equipment relying on ODS’.

Certain intermodal containers contain hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in insulation foams or refrigeration equipment, which has provoked questions around the two rules from those in the import and export market.

Recent media articles and a European Parliament question have pointed to uncertainty among stakeholders over how the rules fit together.

This has prompted the Commission to clarify that the EU import and export prohibitions apply, in general, to containers, but “containers that enter or leave the EU under the ‘temporary admission’ customs procedure, which is the private use of non EU means of transport, are not prohibited”.

It also encourages Member States to enforce these bans by ensuring that containers admitted under this procedure respect the relevant requirements and are not subsequently placed on the market in the EU.

Leigh Stringer

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