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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment


16 September 1997

Australia has called upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive licensing system to control illegal trade in ozone depleting substances.

Federal Environment Minister, Robert Hill, said that at the meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol Australia had put forward amendments aimed at curbing the growing overseas black market in the banned substances.

'Despite the ready availability of alternatives, banned ozone depleting substances, particularly CFCs, are sold on the black market overseas for use in refrigeration and air conditioning systems,' Senator Hill said.

"Australia already has a comprehensive licensing system to control the import, export and manufacture of banned substances and we do not have the problems with illegal trade that other countries are suffering.

"In Montreal we will be strongly backing a proposal that all Parties to the Protocol establish a similar licensing system to ours.

"Australia is also proposing that in addition to controlling trade in new substances, the licensing systems must also control trade in used, recycled and reclaimed substances.

"An extended licensing system would make it more difficult for illegal traders to mis-label newly produced substances and trade them as legal 'used' or 'recycled' substances," he said.

In Montreal, Australia will also be arguing that exports of recycled ozone depleting substances be banned from countries which have continued, after the phase out date, to produce virgin quantities of the same substance for domestic consumption.

'It makes little sense for these countries to continue to produce new ozone depleting substances for their own use, while exporting used and recycled substances which could otherwise be collected and reused domestically,' Senator Hill said.

Media contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
John Durham (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 1651

September 16, 1997 (108/97)

Commonwealth of Australia