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issue: October 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

China Report
China Restricts CFCs


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by Viloet Han, China Correspondent

Officials at the General Service Department of China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA) disclosed that an Announcement on Stopping Production, Sale, Import, and Export of Household Appliances with Relevant Accessory that Use CFCs as Refrigerant and Blowing Agent would be jointly signed and released by China’s National General Environmental Protection Bureau, the National Development and Reform Commission and General Administration of Customs. The announcement will be formally implemented in China effective Jan. 1, 2007.
China joined the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in September 1989 and the London Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol) in June 1991.
The Montreal Protocol asked the developing countries, including China, to phase out CFCs by 2010. According to the relevant requirements set by the second report of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, in January 1993, the Chinese government formally committed to implement the Revised Guideline to National Phase-out Scheme on Substances that Delete the Ozone Layer. Based on the concrete conditions of industrial sectors, this guideline sets out the methods and aims of each phase for each sector and confirmed that the appliance industry in China would realize 100-percent substitution of CFCs in newly produced refrigerators by the end of 2006.
The announcement mainly targets household appliances and accessories, including household refrigerators, coolers below 500 L, household ice-cream makers, hot/cold-water dispensers, rice cookers, electric water heaters, and others. As of Jan. 1, 2007, it will be illegal in China to produce household appliances that use CFCs as a refrigerant or blowing agent. Such products will also be banned from import to China. The mandates cover materials such as CFC-11, CFC-12 and CFC-113. These are mostly used as refrigerants or blowing agents for household appliances and as cleaning/degreasing agents in the manufacture of home appliances.
The new mandate is said to have built-in enforcement measures, including the threat to violators of production shutdowns and plant closures, the revoking of licenses for containment discharge, and even cutting off of electrical utilities.
Most of China’s household appliance makers feel that, after more than a decade of research and practice, the CFC-alternative technologies are quite mature. The mandates are therefore not expected to cause too much of a negative impact on the industry in China. In fact, it is believed only a few Chinese appliance makers still make use of CFCs.

 

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