European Commission, Environment DG

Ozone-depleting substances 2015


Courtesy of Courtesy of European Commission, Environment DG

Aggregated data reported by companies on the import, export, production, destruction, and feedstock and process agent use of ozone-depleting substances in the European Union

Executive Summary


Chemicals known to harm the ozone layer have been successfully substituted in most parts of the world since 1989, when the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer came into force. Within the European Union (EU), ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are covered by Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 (known as the ODS Regulation). The ODS Regulation stipulates that each company producing controlled substances, importing them into and/or exporting them out of the EU, as well as feedstock users, process agent users and destruction facilities, must annually report its transactions of controlled substances. The ODS Regulation is more stringent than the rules of the Montreal Protocol and encompasses five additional substances (these are referred to as 'new substances'). Producers, importers and exporters of new substances must also report associated transactions annually.

This report summarises the data reported by undertakings in accordance with the ODS Regulation for 2015 and looks at the major trends since 2006. Data submitted by companies are commercially confidential and a number of rigorous measures have been applied to protect that confidentiality (see Section 1.7).

Results are expressed in both metric tonnes and ozone‑depleting potential (ODP) tonnes (1).

Key findings

In 2015, the consumption of controlled substances reached its lowest negative level since 2006 (2). The consumption of ODS in the EU has been negative or close to zero since 2010. This means that companies in the EU have been consuming relatively small amounts of ODS under the Montreal Protocol.

Imports of controlled substances

  • In 2015, imports amounted to 6 046 metric tonnes, a 12 % decrease compared with 2014. The largest imported quantities in 2015 were of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) (52 % when expressed in metric tonnes), methyl bromide (MB), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and bromochloromethane (BCM) (3).
  • Expressed in ODP tonnes, the largest imported quantities were of virgin carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and virgin CFCs.
  • In 2015, no MB was imported into the EU for later re-export for quarantine and pre-shipment services (QPS). This is in compliance with the 2015 ban on MB imports for repackaging and subsequent re‑export for QPS, set out in Article 15 of the ODS Regulation.
  • Controlled virgin substances were imported mainly from China.

Exports of controlled substances

  • In 2015, the quantity of controlled virgin substances (expressed in metric tonnes) exported from the EU (including re-export) continued to decline. The total quantity exported in 2015 (9 320 metric tonnes) was 1 927 metric tonnes less than in 2014 (down by 17 %), and was made up predominantly of HCFCs (84 % when expressed in metric tonnes) and CTC (3).
  • Expressed in ODP tonnes, the total quantity exported in 2015 (2 152 ODP tonnes) was 26 % lower than that in 2014.

Production of controlled substances

  • In 2015, a total of 169 920 metric tonnes or 52 859 ODP tonnes of controlled substances was produced, which is slightly lower than the total produced in 2014 (down by 4 % in both metric tonnes and ODP tonnes).
  • Controlled substances produced in the EU were predominantly HCFCs (71 % of the total production in metric tonnes), CTC and trichloroethane (TCA) (See footnote (3)). Only minor quantities of CFCs and hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), and no MB or BCM, were produced in the EU in 2015.
  • In 2015, controlled substances were produced almost exclusively for feedstock use inside the EU (91 % of the quantity produced, in metric tonnes).
  • There has been a decline in production for some uses, e.g. refrigeration, unintentional byproduction, process agent use and feedstock use outside the EU, with the latter particularly evident from 2006 to 2010. Production for feedstock use in the EU, on the other hand, remained constant throughout the entire period of 2006 to 2015.

Destruction of controlled substances

  • In 2015, a total of 10 107 metric tonnes of controlled substances were destroyed. The largest quantities destroyed were of CTC, HCFCs and CFCs (7 955, 1 142 and 957 metric tonnes, respectively).
  • Expressed in metric tonnes, destruction in 2015 was 14 % higher than in 2014. The 2015 surge of destruction can, to a large extent, be explained by the increased destruction of unintentionally produced CTC compared with 2014.

Consumption of controlled substances

  • Consumption is an aggregated parameter that integrates virgin import, virgin export, and production and destruction of controlled substances. Consumption results vary significantly depending on whether they are expressed in metric tonnes or in ODP tonnes, because controlled substances with a high ODP (e.g. CFCs and CTC) exhibit a different trend in consumption from those with a low ODP (e.g. HCFCs).
  • In 2015, the consumption of controlled substances reached the lowest negative level since 2006 (– 3 808 metric tonnes) and was 1 305 metric tonnes less than in 2014.

Feedstock availability and use of controlled substances

  • In 2015, 160 542 metric tonnes of controlled substances were used as feedstock (down by 4 % relative to 2014), and 158 295 metric tonnes of feedstock were available (again, down by 4 % from 2014). In total there was a difference of – 1.4 % between these two metrics, namely feedstock use and feedstock availability (relative to feedstock use). This difference is below the average difference over the period 2010–2014, and it can be assumed that all large feedstock users reported figures for 2015.
  • Emissions of controlled substances from their use as feedstock decreased to an average emissions rate of 0.07 % (calculated as the ratio of total emissions to total quantities used as make-up (4), expressed in metric tonnes). The fact that the 2015 average emissions rate was lower than the emissions rate for 2014 (i.e. 0.12 %) appears to suggest that improvements have been made in the control of emissions in industry.

Process agent use

  • In 2015, the total process agent make-up of controlled substances (CTC, CFC-12 and CFC‑113) was lower than in 2014, mainly because of a decrease in the make-up of CTC.
  • The total make-up and emissions of controlled substances used as process agents in the EU in 2015 stayed well below restrictions imposed by both the Montreal Protocol and the ODS Regulation.

New substances

  • In 2015, the production of new substances was slightly lower than in 2014, at 1 107 910 metric tonnes (1.6 % lower) or 22 843 ODP tonnes (1.7 % lower). The production of new substances was almost exclusively for feedstock use. In 2015, the quantities of new substances imported and exported were — as in previous years — comparably small and increased by 6 % and 34 %, respectively, relative to 2014 when expressed in metric tonnes.
  • In 2015, the production of new substances (expressed in metric tonnes) was six times higher than the production of controlled substances. However, owing to the lower ODP of new substances, this constitutes approximately 30 % of the combined production of controlled and new substances in the EU expressed in ODP tonnes.

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