Thailand Implements Stricter Guidelines for Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs) Usage

On December 26, 2023, the Royal Gazette issued a proclamation outlining crucial guidelines for permitting the use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs) in Thailand. Simultaneously, another publication detailed the qualifications for applicants seeking import licenses for hazardous substances, with a specific focus on criteria for HFCs. These announcements, highlighted in the Royal Gazette, provide comprehensive details ranging from the qualifications of import license applicants to the criteria and conditions for the allocation of import quantities, all under the jurisdiction of the Department of Industrial Works.

Initiating the regulation of HFC import quantities in 2013 to align with the Montreal Protocol, the Department of Industrial Works has consistently specified these regulations over the years. As of 2024, Thailand is mandated to control HFC usage, ensuring it aligns with international regulations and laws agreed upon globally. The Department of Industrial Works has, therefore, declared specific qualifications for applicants seeking import licenses for HFCs.

Qualifications for Applicants for Import Licenses for HFCs:

1.   Historical Import Requirement: Applicants must have a history of importing HFCs or HFC-containing mixtures between 2020-2022 for at least one year.

2.   Annual Import Plan: Import license applicants must submit an annual import plan for HFCs along with intended usage purposes by August 31 each year.

3.   New Applicants: Those without a prior import history must provide a clear explanation of the necessity, including required quantities and a usage reduction timeframe.

The measurement unit for controlling and allocating import quantities is the metric ton carbon dioxide equivalent, as specified in the Montreal Protocol. The criteria and conditions for allocating import quantities include primary and additional import rights, which will be discussed in meetings with qualified applicants. The Department of Industrial Works reserves the right to allocate import quantities based on specified criteria and may adjust warming impact values for additional import quantities.

In line with its responsibilities, the Department of Industrial Works issues import and export licenses for HFCs, classified as a type 3 hazardous substance under the Hazardous Substances Act of 1992. This aligns with international treaties and obligations, emphasizing the control of HFC usage in Thailand from 2024. The announcement underscores the need for strict control to reduce usage to 2% of the baseline value by 2045.

Guidelines for Permitting HFC Usage:

1.   Usage Quantity Determination: Subtract the import quantity from the export quantity to determine the permitted usage quantity.

2.   License Validity Period: Import and export licenses for HFCs will not exceed one year, expiring at the end of the calendar year.

3.   Usage Commencement: Starting from January 1, 2024, HFC usage is permitted, ensuring it does not exceed the national consumption amount.

These guidelines reflect Thailand’s commitment to international agreements and domestic laws, showcasing a proactive approach to control and reduce the environmental impact of HFCs in line with global efforts to protect the ozone layer. The provided table outlines the permitted annual HFC quantities in the country from 2024 to 2045, emphasizing the gradual reduction in alignment with international commitments.

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