Requirements for annual reporting of critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide
The format proposed here would apply to annual reporting by Parties that have obtained a critical-use exemption for a particular application. It is not intended to replace the format for requesting a critical-use exemption for a particular application for the first time.
It should be noted that, in addition to a reporting format for holders of multiple-year exemptions, Australia proposes that this format would also be used by holders of single-year exemptions to reapply for a subsequent year’s exemption (for example, nominees approved for single-year exemptions for 2005 seeking further exemptions for 2006).
In addition, Australia notes that it may be useful for the following format to be prefaced by cover pages similar to those detailed in the 2003 critical use handbook, which summarize the critical-use nomination and provide the contact details of the nominating Party.
From 2005 onwards, Parties’ experience in the submission and assessment of reporting on critical-use exemptions may reveal improvements that could usefully be made to the reporting parameters outlined in the present document. Acknowledging this potential, and to ensure continuous improvement of the exemption reporting process, it is noted that Parties will have the opportunity to review the annual reporting parameters at a future date to ensure that they continue:
(a) To meet their expectations regarding the provision of transparent and adequate data on exemption holders’ progress in achieving transition;
(b) To provide a streamlined format that does not compromise the level of data required for scrutiny by the Parties, but also does not place an unnecessarily onerous burden on nominating Parties.
Table 1: Report on transition efforts and activities
|Transition efforts and activities||A. Description and implementation status||B. Outcomes to date||C. Impact on critical-use nomination/required quantities||D. Actions to address any delays/obstacles||E. Any re-changes to trials/other efforts|
|1. Trials of alternatives|
|2. Technology transfer, scale-up, regulatory approval|
|3. Commercial scale-up/deployment, market penetration|
|4. Any other broader transition activities|
B. Reporting requirements
1. Implementation of the Parties’ mandate on continued efforts to find alternatives
Column A requires a description of the implementation of any trials, technology transfer activities and/or other transition activities that were identified in the earlier nomination, including advice on whether the activity is complete or still underway.
Column B requires a report on the results of the transition activities (e.g., trials of alternatives – yield results achieved with the alternative in comparison to those achieved through methyl bromide treatment; deployment – percentage of users represented in a nomination covered by deployment activities and now able to transition to alternatives). In the case of trials of alternatives, reporting would include attaching copies of formal scientific trial reports. Where formal trial reports are not available (for example, where an exemption holder’s transition efforts focus on grower trials), the exemption holder could include a description of all relevant parameters of the trials that are available. These could include data, as specified in the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel Handbook on Critical Use Nominations for Methyl Bromide, such as soil and climate types in which the trials were conducted, plant-back times observed, the rate of methyl bromide andalternatives application (kg/hectare or g/m2), the proportionate mix of methyl bromide and chloropicrin, etc.
Column C requires a summary of the implication of the trial andactivity results and outcomes, such as what impact they would have on the quantity of methyl bromide required for the critical-use nomination. For example, positive results from technology transfer or deployment activities could lead to the nominating Party identifying a reduction in the quantity required for the subsequent year of the exemption.
Column D: where any obstacles or delays beyond the control of the exemption holder arose to hinder their transition activities, this column requires a description of those obstacles or delays and a detailed plan, including time-specific milestones, for actions to address such problems and maintain the transition momentum.
Column E: where trials, technology transfer or other transition activities have been undertaken but have yielded negative results (e.g., trials demonstrated technical problems with an alternative, deployment activities revealed unanticipated economic infeasibility, etc), column E requires a description of the new or alternative transition activities to be undertaken by the exemption holder to overcome such obstacles to transition.
Row 4: “Any other broader transition activities” provides a nominating Party with the opportunity to report, where applicable, on any additional activities which it may have undertaken to encourage a transition, but need not be restricted to the circumstances and activities of the individual nomination. Without prescribing specific activities that a nominating Party should address, and noting that individual Parties are best placed to identify the most appropriate approach to achieve a swift transition in their own circumstances, such activities could include market incentives, financial support to exemption nominees and exemption holders, labelling, product prohibitions, public awareness and information campaigns, etc.
Notes: For an exemption holder or nominee to qualify for an exemption, a commitment must be demonstrated to finding technically and economically viable alternatives and achieving a transition to the use of alternatives. In particular, decision IX/6 requires the following of an exemption nominee:
“It is demonstrated that an appropriate effort is being made to evaluate, commercialize and secure national regulatory approval of alternatives and substitutes... Non-Article 5 Parties must demonstrate that research programmes are in place to develop and deploy alternatives and substitutes. Article 5 Parties must demonstrate that feasible alternatives shall be adopted as soon as they are confirmed as suitable to the Party's specific conditions…”.
Section 1 provides the means by which exemption holders and nominees can report on their current progress in implementing that mandate. The nature of the information provided would vary according to the specific actions that had been outlined in each original nomination, but for ease of review the information should be structured as presented in table 1 above.
2. Registration of an alternative
Where a nomination identified that an alternative was not yet registered at the time of the original nomination’s submission, but it was anticipated that one would be subsequently registered, the nominating Party should report on the progress of the alternative through the registration process. This report should include any efforts by the Party to “fast track” or otherwise assist the registration of the alternative.
Where significant delays or obstacles have been encountered to the anticipated registration of an alternative, the exemption holder should identify the scope for any new/alternative efforts that could be undertaken to maintain the momentum of transition efforts, and identify a time-frame for undertaking such efforts.
Where an alternative was de-registered subsequent to submission of the original nomination, the nominating Party would report the de-registration, including reasons for it. The nominating Party would also report on the de-registration’s impact (if any) on the exemption holder’s transition plan and on the proposed new or alternative efforts that will be undertaken by the exemption holder to maintain the momentum of transition efforts.
Notes: It is understood that progress in registration of a product will often be beyond the control of an individual exemption holder as the registration process must be undertaken by the manufacturer or supplier of the product. The speed with which registration applications are processed also falls outside the exemption holder’s control, resting with the nominating Party. Consequently, this section requires the nominating Party to report on any efforts it has taken to assist the registration process, noting that the scope for expediting registration will vary from Party to Party.
In recognition of the fact that it would be unreasonable to revise exemption holders’ nomination because of registration delays beyond their control, this section also requires a report on the actions that are being taken to continue transition despite registration delays.
3. Implementation of recommendations of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel
In developing recommendations on exemption nominations submitted in 2003, the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel in many cases recommended that nominees should explore and, more appropriate, implement:
(a) Options for reducing the quantity of methyl bromide required; or
(b) The use of particular alternatives not originally identified by the exemption holder as part of its transitional plan, but considered key alternatives by the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel.
Where the approval granted by the Meeting of the Parties’ for exemptions included conditions incorporating those recommendations, the exemption–holder should report on its progress in exploring or implementing them as part of its annual reporting obligations.
Where a condition required the testing of an alternative or adoption of an emission minimization measure, reporting should be structured in the same format as table 1 (report on transition efforts and activities).
Where a condition related to an assessment of the economic viability of an alternative or measure to minimize use or emissions, the reporting should require to address the relevant economic data requirements identified in section 4 below.
4. Economic feasibility
Where a nomination has been approved on the basis of the economic infeasibility of an alternative, the exemption holder should report any significant changes to the underlying economics. This could include any changes to:
(a) The purchase cost per kilogram of methyl bromide and of the alternative;
(b) Gross and net revenue with and without methyl bromide, and with the next best alternative;
(c) Percentage change in gross revenues if alternatives are used;
(d) Absolute losses per hectare/cubic metre if alternatives are used;
(e) Losses per kilogram of methyl bromide requested if alternatives are used;
(f) Losses as a percentage of net cash revenue if alternatives are used;
(g) Percentage change in profit margin if alternatives are used.
Notes: Where an exemption has been approved on the basis of the economic infeasibility of an alternative, the exemption holder must have clearly described the nature of the economic infeasibility in its original nomination.
The economics of methyl bromide and of alternatives can be subject to changes over time, and it is possible that those changes could have an impact on the exemption holder’s claim that an alternative is not economically viable and on its continuing eligibility for an exemption.
Given that criteria for assessing the economic feasibility of alternatives have not yet been agreed by the Parties, at the current time the seven data points identified above represent suggested guidance only. As criteria are developed and approved by the Parties for inclusion in the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel/MBTOC Handbook, the data to be provided in annual reporting would reflect those criteria and any accompanying new data requirements.
5. Reduction in quantity of methyl bromide required
Exemption holders should indicate whether the number of hectares or cubic metres identified in their earlier nominations has changed. Where the number has been reduced, the exemption holder should quantify any resultant change in the quantity of methyl bromide required.
Notes: The Critical Use Nomination Handbook requests pre-planting Parties making nominations to provide information on the number of hectares or cubic metres to be treated with methyl bromide.
In some cases, it is possible that the number of hectares or cubic metres to be treated could vary over time. As such variations can also change the quantity of methyl bromide required for the exemption, this section provides the means to monitor such variations.
Exemption quantity detailsQuantity requested in original nomination: __________________Quantity recommended by Methyl Bromide TechnicalOptions Committee Technology and EconomicAssessment Panel: __________________
Quantity approved by Parties: __________________
Quantity required for [year]: __________________