PHILIPSBURG:— Legislation has been drafted which will require importers to notify the Inspectorate of the Ministry of VSA of any shipment of R22 refrigerant for refrigerators and air conditioners and will enter into effect soon.
It is the intention to have Sint Maarten also free of R22 (an Ozone depleting refrigerant gas) as is already the case for some time on the French side. We do acknowledge that there are still many refrigerating and air conditioning systems in use on the island that require R22 and that it will take some time to phase out this equipment. We also understand that from a business point of view distributors have to comply with warranty services to this equipment.
The Montreal protocol was signed in 1987 by all 197 member countries of the UN and set a mandatory timetable for the phase out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) with a high global warming potential such as R22 by 2016. All R22 exporting countries require local importers to seek approval from their government to import R22.
In view of the widely available technologies and substances for replacing ODS and the vision and wish of country Sint Maarten to address climate change issues, it is the intention to have all installed R22 using equipment phased out by 2020.
In anticipation of the publication of the National Public Health Ordinance, which has been approved by parliament in 2015 and the National decree regulating Public Health, the Inspectorate VSA will maintain the following policy as of August 1st 2016:
1. Vendors of refrigerating and air conditioning systems will be strongly advised not to import and sell R22 (or other ODS) using systems anymore;
2. Between 2016 and 2020 the total imported amount of R22 will be progressively reduced to zero;
3. After 2020 the servicing of remaining R22 based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerant;
4. Existing systems may be retrofitted to use non-ODS substitute refrigerant;
5. R22 is considered a “controlled substance”, meaning that the import of R22 requires an import declaration to be filed with and approved by the Inspectorate VSA. Non-approved import will be confiscated upon entrée of Sint Maarten;
For more information contact the Inspectorate VSA : Kanaalsteeg 1. Ph. 5422059 / 5422079
Dr. E. Best, Inspector General VSA.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Phasing out of R22 refrigerant