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Decision XXI/10: Quarantine and pre-shipment uses of methyl bromide

Recognizing that methyl bromide use for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes is identified in the 2006 assessment report of the Scientific Assessment Panel as a remaining uncontrolled use of ozone-depleting substances of which the emissions may delay recovery of the ozone layer,

Mindful of the Scientific Assessment report scenarios which calculated that the integrated total chlorine and bromine in the atmosphere from 2007 to 2050 (equivalent effective stratospheric chlorine, EESC) would be reduced by 3.2% if all quarantine and pre-shipment emissions were eliminated by 2015,

Mindful that the use of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes is still increasing in some regions,

Acknowledging the efforts made by Parties to phase out or reduce the use and emissions of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes,

Notingthat 22 non-Article 5 Parties and 54 Article 5 Parties have reported data on current quarantine and pre-shipment consumption, that 31 other Parties which used quarantine and pre-shipment in the past have reduced their quarantine and pre-shipment consumption to zero, and that 14 additional Parties will cease next year and that a further 27 Parties are scheduled to cease consumption by 1 January 2010;

Noting that the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel’s Task Force concluded that there are technically feasible alternatives which may replace a large proportion of the quarantine and pre‑shipment uses of methyl bromide, especially in sawn timber, wood packaging material (ISPM 15), grains and similar foodstuffs, pre-plant soils use and logs;

Aware that, particularly for compliance with ISPM 15, there are more than 6,000 certified heat treatment facilities deployed in many countries, and that not-in-kind alternatives (such as plastic pallets or cardboard pallets) are available worldwide, including in many Article 5 countries, and do not require any treatment under ISPM 15; also noting that the ISPM 15 standard encourages national plant protection organisations (NPPOs) to promote the use of alternative treatments approved in that standard.

Further noting that under the International Plant Protection Convention alternative treatments are currently under review.

Noting the importance of monitoring quarantine and pre-shipment uses of methyl bromide and their reporting under Article 7 in order to assess the contribution of quarantine and pre-shipment uses to methyl bromide emissions into the atmosphere.

Aware that several Parties have succeeded in reducing quarantine and pre-shipment consumption by adopting policy measures such as promoting the adoption of alternatives, reviewing regulatory requirements, allowing alternative options, adopting ‘polluter pays’ taxes on methyl bromide imports, and/or limiting quarantine and pre-shipment consumption;

Noting that methyl bromide use and emissions can also be reduced by technical improvements in fumigation practices , such as using gas-tight structures, determining minimum effective methyl bromide doses, monitoring during fumigation to minimise re-dosing, using recovery equipment, and treating wood packing materials prior to loading containers rather than treating entire loaded containers;

  1. To remind Parties of their obligations to report annual data on the consumption of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment under Article 7 and to establish and implement a system for licensing trade in methyl bromide, including quarantine and pre-shipment, under Article 4B;
  2. To invite Parties to collect data on quarantine and pre-shipment according to Decision XI/13, and to consider using the format provided in the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel’s report of April 1999;
  3. To request the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel and its Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee, in consultation with other relevant experts and the IPPC Secretariat to provide a report to be considered by the 30th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group covering the following:
    1. A review of available information on the technical and economical feasibility of alternatives, and the estimated availability, for the following categories of quarantine and pre-shipment uses:
      1. sawn timber and wood packaging material (ISPM 15);
      2. grains and similar foodstuffs;
      3. pre-plant soils use;
      4. logs;
    2. The current availability and market penetration rate of quarantine and pre-shipment alternatives to the uses listed in paragraph 3(1) above, and their relation with regulatory requirements and other drivers for the implementation of alternatives;
    3. An update of table 9.1 of the 2009 Task Force report to include economic aspects, and to take account of the information compiled under this paragraph, distinguishing between Article 5 and non Article 5 parties and between quarantine and pre-shipment uses separately;
    4. A description of a draft methodology, including assumptions, limitations, objective parameters, the variations within and between countries and how to take account of them, that the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel would use, if requested by the Parties, for the assessment of the technical and economical feasibility of alternatives, of the impact of their implementation and of the impacts of restricting the quantities of methyl bromide production and consumption for quarantine and pre-shipment uses;
  4. To encourage Parties to apply best-practice measures to reduce methyl bromide quarantine and pre-shipment use and emissions, that may include the review of required use dosages, gas tightness controls, monitoring during fumigation and other measures to minimize methyl bromide dosages, and, in applications where alternatives are not yet available, the recovery and possible reuse of methyl bromide, and to review the methyl bromide quarantine and pre-shipment requirements for possibilities of introducing alternative mitigation measures whenever possible;
  5. To encourage Parties to consider adopting, where possible within their national policy framework, incentives to promote the transition to alternatives such as deposit/rebate schemes or other financial measures;
  6. To encourage Parties or regions to use the October 2009 Technology and Economic Assessment Panel quarantine and pre-shipment task force report to develop documents that summarise information on technical options to reduce emissions, and on adopted technologies that have replaced methyl bromide quarantine and pre-shipment applications, the reductions achieved, the investments needed, the operating costs, and the funding strategies;
  7. To encourage Parties to implement the recommendations of the third meeting of the Commission of the Phytosanitary Measures under the IPPC, also referred to in Decision XX/6.