Customs seize more illegal R22 refrigerant

BULGARIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Over 1000 cylinders of ozone-depleting HCFC refrigerant R22 have been seized in the past few days.

Bulgarian customs officers at Lesovo seized 981 cylinders containing a total of 13,342kg of banned R22 last week. In a separate incident, officials in Papua New Guinea confiscated 36 cylinders of R22 were confiscated in the capital Port Moresby. 

The 981 13.6kg cylinders of refrigerant discovered during a customs check at the Bulgarian border point in Lesovo were on a truck entering the country from Turkey. The driver had declared that he was transporting his cargo from Turkey to Romania. Customs officers found that the cargo, declared as refrigerant gas, was the HCFC R22 – an ozone-depleting refrigerant that is banned in Europe.

The Papua New Guinea newspaper The Nationalreports that the country’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) confiscated about 36 cylinders of R22 from a hardware shop in Port Moresby. They were said to have been imported illegally.

The directors of the company which supplied the shop are being sought by the police. Cepa alleges that the company illegally imported about 1152 cylinders of R22 into the country last September.

Papua New Guinea is seeking to eliminate the use of R22 by 2025. In the meantime, all HCFC imports are subject to controls, requiring a quota permit and a prior consent notice.