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Decision VII/29: Assessment of the possible need for and modalities and criteria for a critical agricultural use exemption for methyl bromide

The Seventh Meeting of the Parties decided in Dec. VII/29:

  1. To note that the latest Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment underscores the need for a phase-out of methyl bromide because of its significant role in depleting the ozone layer;
  2. To recognize, however, the concerns regarding the applicability of the existing essential-use criteria and process for evaluating the use of methyl bromide in the agricultural sector, and the availability of alternatives for important agricultural uses of this compound;
  3. To request the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel to examine need for and the modalities (including the essential-use process) and criteria that could be used to facilitate review, approval and implementation of requests for critical agricultural use exemptions. In recommending suitable modalities and criteria, the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel may take into consideration:
    1. Whether alternative practices or substitutes exist that are commercially available and efficacious;
    2. The relative costs and benefit of alternative practices and substitutes to allow the Parties to assess their economic viability, taking into account the scale of application and the individual circumstances of particular uses;
    3. Whether a Party has demonstrated that all economically feasible actions are being taken to minimize use and any associated emissions from the approved exemption, and that continued efforts are being made to evaluate and develop alternatives to the use of methyl bromide for this application;
    4. The feasibility of placing a cap on the total percentage of baseline production and consumption permitted under an essential use for any particular country; and
    5. A range of alternative decision-making and implementation processes;
  4. To request the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel to prepare a study of the possible uses of market-based measures to allow for greater flexibility in implementing the requirements for limitations on methyl bromide;
  5. That the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel’s analysis should be presented for consideration to the Open-ended Working Group at its thirteenth meeting to facilitate a decision by the Eighth Meeting of the Parties.