management refers to a collection of activities that have as their
goal the eventual elimination of halon use. These activities have
been set in motion by the requirement of most English-speaking Caribbean
countries to comply with the Montreal
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
connection between certain halogenated compounds and the depletion
of the ozone layer came to a dramatic head with the discovery
of the Antarctic ozone hole in 1985. The need to reduce the production
and use of these ozone-depleting substances (primarily CFCs and
halons) was addressed at a conference in Montreal, Canada in 1987,
which negotiated the United Nations Montreal Protocol on Substances
That Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Protocol did not come into force
until 1989, and at that time, 29 countries ratified it.
then, there have been a number of amendments to the Montreal Protocol:
London, 1990; Copenhagen, 1992; Montreal, 1997 and Beijing, 1999.
Each amendment introduced new restricted compounds and/or additional
control measures. In recognition of the difficulties faced by
developing countries attempting to meet their obligations under
the Montreal Protocol, the Multilateral Fund was established in
1991. This financial mechanism is assisting developing countries
to gradually phase out their production and consumption of ozone
depleting substances (ODS), including halons.
all of the English-speaking Caribbean countries have either ratified
or acceded to the Montreal Protocol, along with at least some
of the more recent amendments. All these countries are, therefore,
committed to phasing out their consumption of halons and many
have already taken steps to do so, steps which include regulatory
UNEP Ozone Secretariat and the OzonAction Programme websites provide
extensive information and avenues for assistance to persons interested
in ozone depletion, the mechanisms by which this can be done and
the obligations stemming from the Montreal Protocol.
The UNEP Ozone Secretariat and the OzonAction
Programme websites provide extensive information and avenues for
assistance to persons interested in ozone depletion, and the mechanisms
by which this can be done.
Montreal Protocol, Halons and You
Montreal Protocol and all of its amendments address the issues
around all ozone-depleting substances, of which halons are only
one group. There are specific requirements for countries dealing
with halon phase out.
countries in the Caribbean are classified as Article 5 (developing)
countries under the Protocol, and have a more elongated phase
out schedule than the developed countries, which have already
phased out halon consumption and production in 1996. The schedule
for Article 5 countries includes a freeze of halon consumption
from 1995-1997 halon levels by 2002, a 50% reduction by 2005,
with complete phase out by 2010. It should be noted that this
reduction schedule applies to consumption as defined under the
Caribbean countries do not produce or export virgin halon, their
obligations are essentially to reduce and phase out halon imports.
It is important to remember that the actual use of halon is not
controlled under the Montreal Protocol. Parties to the Protocol
are allowed to continue using their existing halon stocks indefinitely
as long as imports are restricted in accordance with the phase-out
schedule. However, Parties are also encouraged to take practicable
measures to reduce their emissions of halons, as well as to recover,
recycle and reclaim existing stocks of halons, as a means to avoid
the need for importing virgin material. Accordingly, Parties must
prepare Halon Management Strategies to limit their emissions and
explore options for recycling, reclamation and destruction.
should also be noted that recovered, recycled and/or reclaimed
halon is also not controlled by the Montreal Protocol. Hence,
Parties are allowed to continue using, importing and exporting
here for a summary of the latest ozone depleting substance
Management in the English-Speaking Caribbean
comprehensive and integrated strategy for cost-effective halon
management is critical to enable low-volume consuming developing
countries to meet the halon phase-out schedule under the Montreal
Protocol. A Halon Management Plan provides for such a strategy
by enabling a country to:
maintain its current level of fire protection safety;
· avoid economic disruption;
· gradually reduce its dependence on halons; and
· ensure identification of, and provision for, critical
uses of halons
countries are leading the development of a broad-based Halon Management
Plan within the English-speaking Caribbean, with the assistance
of UNEP and Environment Canada's contribution to the Montreal
Protocol Multilateral Fund. The countries are: Bahamas, Barbados,
Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. These countries
are participating in a project through which they are providing
advice and information to halon stakeholders in their countries,
formulating and implementing a regulatory framework to comply
with the halon phase-out schedule, developing national halon management
plans and collaborating in the establishment and management of
this Halon Information Clearinghouse.
should be noted that participation in this regional approach does
not substitute for but rather complements national strategies
for the management and phase-out of halon. Each country is responsible
for its own compliance under the Montreal Protocol and for ensuring
that it has a strategy of its own to do this.
summary of regional activities to address Montreal Protocol requirements
date, information has been provided about the halon reduction
activities of Barbados, Guyana,
Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
In general, these countries have no production of either halons
or halon-based equipment, and only import these commodities. As
such, the primary mechanism of halon control is through the regulation
and Tobago is well on its way to meeting its requirements under
the Montreal Protocol. At this time, Halon 1211 consumption has
been practically eliminated, but there is still a significant
amount of Halon 1301 still in use.
mentioned earlier, Trinidad and Tobago rely primarily on import
regulation to control the amount of halon in the country. To achieve
this, halons have been placed on the "Negative List"
by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. As such, halon requires
a Minister's License for importation. Also, there was an amendment
of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01 to specially reclassify halons
in the Customs (Common External Tariff) Order, 1998. These regulations,
along with the ready cooperation of the private sector have enabled
Trinidad and Tobago to be significantly ahead of its planned phase
is other legislation that could be adopted to control halon use,
for example, the Environmental Management Act #3 of 2000 allows
for the classification of ozone depleting substances as air pollutants,
and so they may be regulated by the Air Pollution Rule when it
approach to halon control in Jamaica is like Trinidad's, in that
the major control mechanism is through import regulation. A Ministerial
Order under the Trade Act of February 18, 1998 banned the importation
of halon-based fire fighting equipment. Along with this came a
halt in the importation of halon as well. Other than this, there
is no regulatory stipulation on halon importation or use. However,
suppliers voluntarily follow the National Fire Protection Association's
codes, and so some standards are present. Also, Jamaica's Bureau
of Standards established standards for the labelling of all containers
stock of halon currently present in Jamaica is believed to be
enough to service the essential-use needs of the country. Non-essential
users are to be encouraged to switch to alternative products;
however, this will be strictly voluntary. To assist with the process,
Jamaica plans to implement a halon bank that would store and distribute
halon. The actual nature of the facility is yet to be determined.
is an importer of halon and so can control use by importation
regulations. The country plans to ban the importation of virgin
halon, and to encourage the responsible use of the stored halon
until alternative technologies can be installed.
Laws of Guyana Fire Fighting Regulations (1973, Cap. 95:02, Subsidiary
of Factories [Fire Escape] regulations, Section 13) deals with
fire extinguishers, but does not mention the type of fire extinguishing
agent that should be used. The civil aviation section is regulated
by standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Standard 9.2.10 mandates a minimum of 225 kg halon to be maintained
at each international airport. It is noted in the standard that
halons are to be phased out and recommend substitutes - either
225 kg dry chemical powder or 450 kg carbon dioxide. The only
international airport, Cheddi Jagan International Airport, has
increased its stocks of carbon dioxide and dry chemical powder,
while phasing out halon. The comprehensive Environmental Protection
Act 1996 can be used to regulate all matters concerning the environment,
and can include ozone depleting substances. The National Ozone
Action Unit is directly responsible for ensuring that Guyana meets
its requirements under the Montreal Protocol.
has less than one tonne of Halon 1211 remaining, in only two sectors
- civil aviation and the Guyana Fire Services. The Guyana Fire
Services voluntarily stopped importing halon, and replaced halon
extinguishers with alternatives. They have given a commitment
to avoid purchasing halon-based fire-fighting equipment. Guyana
Air, the national airline, has contracted its maintenance services
externally, and so no longer imports halon. There are two other
small aviation service companies, the Guyana Sugar Cooperative
Aircraft Maintenance Department, and Caribbean Aviation Maintenance
Services Limited that still use halon extinguishers on their aircraft.
Both companies find the alternatives, dry chemical powder and
carbon dioxide unsuitable for their use, and plan to replace Halon
1211 with Halotron 1, a mixture of HCFC 123 and HCFC Blend B.
Halotron 1 is much less destructive to the ozone layer. Apart
from these instances, there is no other installed capacity for
halon in Guyana.
has made good progress in reducing the use of halons in the country.
The halon in Barbados is found generally in portable fire extinguishers
and fixed fire suppression systems. There is no specific legislation
covering either the import of halon, or standards for fire suppression
equipment, but in spite of this, the private sector has been very
proactive in assisting with phasing out halon use in the island.
This is attributed primarily to the general scarcity of halon
in the international marketplace, as well as increasing sensitivity
to the negative environmental impact of halons.
Environment Division of the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Environment
has been conducting halon surveys since 1995, and note that no
halon has been imported into the country since 1995. Although
there is no longer any installed halon capacity in fixed suppression
systems, there is still a significant amount of halon in old portable
fire extinguishers. As these old units are replaced, they are
collected by private safety companies and stored. However, it
is thought that a large amount of halon (2 - 3 metric tonnes)
may be still in use, as users are unaware of the halon problem,
or unwilling to undergo the expense of upgrading their fire extinguishers.
has a plan to establish a halon bank to recover all halon in the
island, to facilitate its appropriate redistribution, export and
destruction. In addition, public education and outreach programmes
will increase the information available to the average Barbadian,
and help speed up the identification and collection of old, halon-containing
fire extinguishers. And finally, a review and upgrade of Barbados
legislation is planned to prevent the import of halon in the future.