(Sept. 4, 2008) The 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the ensuing Montreal Protocol of 1987 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer require contracting member states to phase out ozone-depleting substances according to a timetable. In 2000, the European Union implemented the provisions of the Montreal Protocol by adopting a regulation on the ozone layer. The regulation prohibits the production and placing on the market of those substances that are the most damaging to the ozone layer and also establishes limits on certain uses of such substances.
On August 1, 2008, the European Commission introduced a proposal to modify the existing regulation on ozone-depleting substances. The proposal brings the regulation in line with the latest international agreements, especially those that concern the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons. It also is designed to clarify some of the provisions of the 2000 regulation, especially those on exemptions and derogations to the use of ozone-depleting substances. Finally, it includes measures to reduce and phase out the use of methyl bromide to prevent the introduction and proliferation of pests through international trade. (Press Release IP/08/1235, EUROPA, Commission Proposes to Revise the Regulation on Ozone-Depleting Substances(Aug. 1, 2008), available at http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/