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Ban looms on some ac units, fridges, freezers and gases

Air conditioning units, freezers and refrigerators that use Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) will soon be banned and those intercepted will seized and the gases returned at the importers expense, officials said Wednesday.

Users of those older types of appliances will not have to immediately replace theirs but it is expected that the new import rules will see a gradual phasing in of the new systems by 2040.

Officials said that those steps are necessary for Guyana to comply with the Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer. Scientists say certain chemicals are destroying the ozone layer, resulting in ultraviolet radiation from the sun. That can cause certain types of skin cancer, cataracts, damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations in the ocean’s photic zone.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would be responsible for enforcing the legislation at ports by being on the look out for equipment that use ODS and the gases themselves.

“In those instances where the new equipment does not comply with our treaty obligations, the cost of non-compliance will devolve on the importers. “Equipment would be seized, the gas would be retained by GRA and, off course, its re-export to the suppliers by the non-compliant importer would be enforced,” Luncheon told a news conference.

Government expects that owners of the old appliances will find them increasingly costly and impossible to maintain them because the gases will be scarce and later unavailable, resulting in the equipment having to be replaced with ozone-friendly ones.

Government intends to continue educating importers and other persons intimately associated with equipment that use ODS.