Customs Seizes Cylinders Containing Poisonous Gas (Solomon Islands)

The Customs and Excise division of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, alongside the National Ozone Unit- Energy Division within the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification has seized imports of five cylinders of R12 gas.

The 5 cylinder of gases contains R12 refrigerant gas, which has been banned in the country since 2007.

“As a regulation to this illegal import, the Importer is responsible to send the item under their own expenses,” a statement from the National Ozone Unit-Energy Division said.

“Hence these imported items had been sent out of the country through the importers’ arrangement on 30th November, 2016,” the statement added.

“This has been the second incidence that happened this year according to records.”

“The first illegal import was done early in the year with Cylinders Labelled as R134A, which is allowed to be imported into the country.”

“However when tested with the Gas Identifier, it contained the banned ODS gas which is R12.”

“Twenty four of this has been confiscated and are to be sent back to the country of Export.”

“In terms of wrongful labelling the importer is liable to pay a fine for False Declaration according to the Customs Act,” the statement said.

It said gases such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) mainly R12 imported to be used as refrigerants are banned and are not allowed to enter into the Country.

“Gases such as HCFC mainly R22 are treated as restricted imports.”

“HFCs and Hydrocarbon gases are allowed to enter.”

“All gas importers are to contact the National Ozone Unit, Energy Division at the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification before importing gas containing Ozone Depleting Substances.”

The National Ozone Unit under the Energy and Rural Electrification Division of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification is the office that looks after the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in the Solomon Islands.

The National Ozone Unit reports to the Ozone Secretariat and the Multilateral Fund of the United Nations Environmental Program. It also reports to the National Government on issues relating to Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).