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Decision XXVIII/4: Establishment of regular consultations on safety standards

Noting that parties recognize the importance of the timely updating of international standards for flammable low-global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerants, including International Standard IEC 60335-2-40 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and support the promotion of actions that allow for the safe market introduction, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and handling of zero-GWP and low-GWP refrigerants that are alternatives to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),

Aiming to support the timely revision of relevant standards in a manner that is
technology-neutral to enable the safe use and market penetration of low-GWP alternatives,

  1. To request the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel to establish a task force that includes outside experts, as needed:
    1. To liaise and coordinate with standards organizations, including IEC, to support the timely revision of IEC standard 60335-2-40 and ensure that the requirements for the A2, A2L and A3 categories are revised synchronously using a fair, inclusive and scientifically sound approach;
    2. To submit to the Open-ended Working Group at its thirty-ninth meeting a report on safety standards relevant for low-GWP alternatives, including on the following:
      1. Progress in the revision of international safety standards by the IEC, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other international standards bodies;
      2. Information concerning tests and/or risk assessments and their results relevant to safety standards;
      3. Assessment of the implications of international standards for the implementation of the decisions of the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs and HFC control measures, and recommendations to the parties;
      4. To provide relevant findings to the standards bodies;
  2. To request the Ozone Secretariat to organize a workshop on safety standards relevant to the safe use of low-GWP alternatives back to back with the thirty-ninth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group, within existing resources;
  3. To urge parties to consult and work with their industries and standards bodies to support the timely completion of the processes for developing new standards, harmonizing existing standards and revising current standards that would facilitate the adoption of additional environmentally friendly alternatives to HCFCs and HFCs and the broader deployment of existing such alternatives and allow for their use with a goal of completing such efforts by the end of 2018;
  4. To invite parties to submit to the Ozone Secretariat by the end of 2016 information on their domestic safety standards relevant to the use of low-GWP flammable refrigerants;
  5. To encourage parties to strengthen connections and cooperation between national and regional standards committees and national ozone units;
  6. To request the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol to consider maintaining or, if required, increasing the Fund’s technical and capacity-building assistance, in particular through the United Nations Environment Programme's Compliance Assistance Programme, with a view to improving cooperation between national authorities in charge of implementation of the Montreal Protocol and national and regional standards committees;
  7. To consider holding regular consultations on international safety standards with the Ozone Secretariat and relevant international standards bodies, including IEC and ISO, and regional standards bodies, including the European Committee for Standardization, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, UL (formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories), the American National Standards Institute, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and others, taking into account the outcomes of the processes mentioned in the present decision;