Substances that deplete the ozone layer

Substances that deplete the ozone layer destroy ozone in the stratosphere and most of them are also strong greenhouse gases. To protect the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol was adopted in 1987, according to which the member states of this international environmental agreement committed themselves to reducing the production and use of ozone-depleting substances and to ultimately doing without them altogether. Implementation in Switzerland is regulated by the Chemicals Risk Reduction Ordinance (ORRChem).

Legal basis

Substances that deplete the ozone layer include (according to Annex 1.4, number 1, paragraph 1 ORRChem):

  • all fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons with up to three carbon atoms (CFCs);
  • all partially halogenated hydrochlorofluorocarbons with up to three carbon atoms (HCFCs);
  • all fully halogenated bromofluorocarbons with up to three carbon atoms (halons);
  • all partially halogenated hydrobromofluorocarbons with up to three carbon atoms (HBFCs);
  • 1,1,1-trichloroethane;
  • carbon tetrachloride;
  • bromomethane;
  • bromochloromethane.

1. Prohibitions

The manufacturing and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer is prohibited (Annex 1.4, number 2.1 and 6.1 ORRChem). The placing on the market of preparations and articles containing such substances is also prohibited (Annex 1.4, number 3.1 ORRChem).

2. Exemptions

Regenerated substances that deplete the ozone layer are excluded from the manufacturing ban (Annex 1.4, number 2.2 ORRChem). The ban on the use of substances that deplete the ozone layer does not apply if its use is permitted in accordance with the following Annexes of the ORRChem (Annex 1.4, number 6.2, paragraph 1 ORRChem):

Furthermore, the ban on the use of substances that deplete the ozone layer does not apply to their use as intermediate products for complete subsequent chemical conversion or for the laboratory and analytical purposes permitted under the Montreal Protocol if according to the state of the technology no substitute is available (Annex 1.4, number 6.2, paragraph 2, ORRChem).

An exemption permit for other uses of substances that deplete the ozone layer and preparations manufactured with substances that deplete the ozone layer may be given on the basis of a well-founded application if, according to the state of the technology, no substitute is available and no more ozone-depleting substances are used than is necessary for the intended purpose (Annex 1.4, number 6.3 ORRChem).

Excluded from the ban on placing on the market are preparations and articles for the manufacturing or maintenance of which substances that deplete the ozone layer may be used under the abovementioned exemptions or on the basis of an exemption permit (Annex 1.4, number 3.2 ORRChem).

3. Licence requirement for import and export

The import of substances that deplete the ozone layer requires an import permit issued by the FOEN as a general import permit (Annex 1.4, number 3.3 ORRChem).

The export of more than 20 kg of substances that deplete the ozone layer requires an export permit issued by the FOEN as an individual export permit (Annex 1.4, number 4 ORRChem).

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Last modification 15.11.2019

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