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National HPMP Training Workshop for Vava’u Customs, Brokers and Law Enforcement Officials

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16th March, 2018 More than 20participants from Vava’u Customs, Brokers and Law Enforcement Officials participated in a two-day workshop from the 15th – 16th March, 2018, on National Hydro chlorofluorocarbon Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) at the Governor’s Office Conference Room, Neiafu, Vava’u.

The training is hosted by the National Ozone Unit of the Department of Climate Change and a trained officer from the Customs Department under the coordination of the Ministry of MEIDECC.

The two-day workshop aims to provide customs officers, brokers and law enforcement officers of Vava’u with the skills necessary to monitor and control the imports Ozone Depletion Substances (ODS) and products that contain ODS.

Part of the assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a gas identifier, which was presented by Lord Fakatulolo to Vava’u Customs Officer in Charge, intending to examine HCFCs and other refrigerants that will be imported to Vava’u.

The Head of the National Ozone Unit at the Department of Climate Change, Mr. UikelotuVunga said, “The Customs Training is one of the requirements under the HCFC Phase-out Management Plan for the 12 Pacific Countries included in the Regional HPMP including Tonga.”

“The Regional HCFC Phase-out Management Plan for 12 Pacific Island Countries including Tonga was approved at the 63rd Meeting (Decision 63/64) of the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol. Tonga along with 11 Pacific Island Countries in the region are committed to phase out HCFCs starting with the freeze on the 1st January 2013 and obligated to a reduction of relative baselines by 10% in January 2015 and 35% in January 2020.”

The Pacific Island Countries do not produce HCFCs, and therefore HCFCs and other refrigerants used are imported. Traditionally, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji are the major suppliers, but in recent years, China (including Taiwan), United States, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Republic of Korea have started supplying HCFC-22 as well as other alternatives. Such diverse import channels make the monitoring of import/export more challenging. In the PICs region, HCFC-22 is almost the exclusive HCFC used for servicing of household/commercial/industry refrigeration equipment and air-conditioning units. Other HCFCs, such as HCFC-123, HCFC-142b (in blends) etc. are also used in very small quantities.

Mr. Vunga said this customs training workshop is design to follow an interactive and participatory approach.

“As part of their compliance with the Montreal Protocol, each nation that is a Party to the treaty has set the necessary policies to regulate in these chemicals and established and monitoring and control system at the borders to enforce them.”

He also stated that Customs and enforcement officers, which are the focus of this training workshop, are the people who make this import-export control system work. They are the front line of defence.

The workshop is funded by the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol implemented by UN Environment, with MEIDECC as the executive agency in Tonga for the Ozone Depleting Substances Program.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.


 

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