WCO steps up collaboration with UNEP on global warming

24 May 2017

At the invitation of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat, the WCO Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate delivered a presentation at the Headquarters of the Ozone Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya, on 22 May 2017.

The WCO representative touched upon several issues of mutual concern to both the global Customs community and the Ozone Secretariat, in particular the creation of Harmonized System (HS) codes in order to control the phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are not ozone-depleting but contain high global warming potential and therefore affect the climate.  Following the adoption of the Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, at the 28th Meeting of the Parties in Kigali, Rwanda, Parties would begin collecting data on production and consumption of those substances which they would be required to report to the Ozone Secretariat on an annual basis.

In this regard, the WCO representative emphasised the importance for the WCO to assist the Parties to the Montreal Protocol by designating individual HS codes for the agreed HFCs in order to facilitate the implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which was expected to enter into force on 1 January 2019.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Gilbert Bankobeza, Chief of Legal Affaires and Compliance at the Ozone Secretariat, recalled how WCO in the past had facilitated the amendments to the HS Nomenclature in respect of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) namely CFCs, HCFCs and other substanes.  The separate HS codes for ODS are instrumental in paving the way for prevention of illegal trade in those substances and their eventual phase out. He concluded by expressing the desire of the Ozone Secretariat to continue its cooperation with the WCO, which has been proven to be very fruitful in the past years.