Tonga Plans to Implement the Mandatory Labelling Requirement under the Regional HCFC Phase-Out Management Plan, Stage II

HCFC importers and government line ministry representatives attending the consultation meeting

On 18th May 2022, the Government of Tonga through MEIDECC’s Department of Climate Change carried out a consultation meeting organized by the National Ozone Layer Protection Division to discuss the basic components needed for the labelling of imported HCFC (Hydrocholorofluorocarbon) cylinders. The mandatory labelling is built on the shared successful experiences from a number of countries that have implemented this program through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As a result, Tonga joins other pacific island countries under the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer by implementing mandatory labelling of refrigerants as an effective tool to combat illegal trade and guarantee safety of for users and technicians.

The discussions held were based on the principles and approaches which would be compulsory for the effective implementation of labelling HCFC disposable cylinders with  non-detachable stickers. These informative labels will be issued by the government to distinguish legitimate and smuggled refrigerants in the domestic market and RAC (Refrigeration & Air-condition)  sectors.

Moreover, Mr. Áloisio Fifita from the ozone division elaborated on the benefits of mandatory labelling. He explained to the participants these measures will deter smuggling of refrigerants and also aid consumer protection and occupational safety. These measures include identifying the contents/chemical composition of the refrigerant, issuance of the sticker labels and also monitoring to ensure that this labelling system will prevent illegal trade as well as the amount of import from exceeding the maximum allowable consumption for Tonga.

The consultation was attended by representatives from government line ministries and importers from the RAC sector through the funding of UNEP. The National Ozone Layer Protection Unit will continue to collaborate with relevant enforcement authorities and stakeholders in devising the legal frameworks required for the successful implementation of the mandatory labelling of HCFC refrigerants.