The Ozone Regulation has two objectives:
- To fulfil the obligations of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, to which the EU and all of its Member States are parties.
- To ensure a higher level of ambition in the EU than required by the Protocol, in areas where this is technically and economically feasible.
Measures & requirements
To achieve the objectives, the Ozone Regulation imposes a number of measures and requirements across the EU, all aimed at minimising the use of ozone-depleting substances.
Some ozone-depleting substances are banned altogether, while others are allowed for specific applications (where there are no feasible alternatives) or up to a certain limit (in which cases import quotas are allocated).
Various rules and measures are aimed at regulating the use of ozone-depleting substances in specific applications, the most important of which concern:
- Phase-out of HCFCs, including production (Art. 11-1, 11-3 and 11-5)
- Phase-out of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment (Art. 12)
- Gradual phase-out of halons for critical uses (Art. 13 and Annex VI)
- Quota allocation (Art. 10-2, 16-1)
- Licensing of imports and exports (Art. 15, 17, 18)
- Registration for essential laboratory and analytical uses (Art. 10-4)
- Labelling requirements for containers and equipment with ozone-depleting substances (Art. 7-2, 8-3, 10-3, 11-3 and 11-6)
- Technical requirements during reclamation and destruction of ozone-depleting substances (Art. 22-5 and Annex VII)
- Control of leakage and emission when using the ozone-depleting substances (Art. 23(1-3&5-6))
- Annual reporting by national authorities (Art. 26)
- Annual reporting by undertakings (Art. 27)
- National inspections (Art. 28)
Effects & results
One of the aims of the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances is to replace them with more climate-friendly and environmentally-friendly alternatives.
EU legislation has not only been effective in regulating ozone-depleting substances, but has also acted as a driver for the development of innovative technologies in this field. These include:
- Alternatives to methyl bromide
- New blowing agents for insulation foam
- CFC-free metered dose inhalers for the treatment of asthma
- Innovative non-halon fire-fighting systems, e.g. on ships and airplanes
In 2017, the European Commission launched an evaluation of the Ozone Regulation, in order to examine its implementation and performance across the EU.
The evaluation was completed in 2019. More information is available on the evaluation page.
The Ozone Regulation has led to some other, more specific EU regulations concerning ozone-depleting substances. The regulations listed below set out rules and procedures regarding certain uses of ozone depleting substances.
- Commission Regulation (EU) 537/2011 on the mechanism for the allocation of quantities of controlled substances allowed for laboratory and analytical uses
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 291/2011 on essential uses of controlled substances other than hydrochlorofluorocarbons for laboratory and analytical purposes
- Commission Decision 2010/372/EU on the use of controlled substances as process agents (updated)
Other ozone-related responsibilities
The European Commission is also responsible for reporting to the UNEP Ozone Secretariat on uses and consumption of ozone-depleting substances in all EU Member States. The UNEP Ozone Secretariat gathers this data in order to monitor international compliance with the Montreal Protocol.