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  5. Cabinet Approves the Bill for the Act of Partial Revision of the Act for Rationalized Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons

Cabinet Approves the Bill for the Act of Partial Revision of the Act for Rationalized Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons

March 19, 2019

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that the Cabinet approved the Bill for the Partial Revision of the Act for Rationalized Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons on March 19, 2019. The bill will be submitted to the ongoing 198th ordinary session of the Diet.

1. Background of the revision

While fluorocarbons have been utilized in many ways, including as a refrigerant for air conditioners and refrigerators, fluorocarbons that are referred to as designated chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have the effect of depleting the ozone layer. Fluorocarbons referred to as alternative CFCs do not cause depletion of the ozone layer, but they do have greenhouse effects similar to designated CFCs that is said to be some tens of times to more than 10,000 times stronger than CO2. Therefore, reducing the emission of fluorocarbons is of critical importance in terms of both protection of the ozone layer and global warming countermeasures.

In particular, regarding the collection of refrigerant fluorocarbons at the time of the disposal of industrial freezing and air conditioning equipment, it is specified in the Act for Rationalized Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons (Act No. 64 of 2001, hereinafter referred to as the “Fluorocarbons Emission Reduction Act”) that the equipment users must deliver the fluorocarbons filled in the equipment as a refrigerant to class I fluorocarbon filling and recovery operations at the time of the disposal of such equipment. However, the collection rate of refrigerants during equipment disposal has remained at around 30% for more than ten years, and below 40% even in the latest data.

Due to this situation, measures for the improvement of the collection rate during disposal were discussed in the joint meeting of the Working Group on Fluorocarbon Countermeasures of the Chemical Substances Subcommittee of the Manufacturing Industry Committee under the Industrial Structure Council and the Fluorocarbon Countermeasures Subcommittee of the Global Environment Committee under the Central Environment Council, and the “Policy of Measures for the Improvement of Fluorocarbon Collection Rate at the Time of Disposal” was generated in February 2019. The partial revision of the Fluorocarbon Emission Reduction Act was decided based on this report.

2. Outline of the bill

(1) Efforts targeting the equipment disposal process

(2) Efforts regarding equipment disposal during building demolition

(3) Efforts targeting received equipment

(4) Public relations and other efforts

Introduction of provisions on the creation of stakeholder councils in prefectures for promoting continuous diffusion and educational activities, etc.
 

3. Enforcement date

The enforcement date of the revised act is the day specified by Cabinet Order within a period not exceeding one year from the date of promulgation, except for otherwise specified regulations.

Division in Charge

Fluoride Gases Management Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau