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Huge illegal ozone-depleting substance haul

Confiscated ozone depleting substances

More than 1300 tonnes of banned ozone-depleting substances (ODS) were seized worldwide between September 2012 and April 2014 according to figures from the United Nations Environment Programme.

Confiscations included 7370 items of equipment and 9513 cylinders of refrigerant, with most seizures being of R22 refrigerant, an HCFC, while others captured CFCs like R12 and illegally shipped HFCs like R134a.

There are no current figures on how big a business global ODS smuggling is but in the 2000s it was estimated at between 7000 and 14,000 tonnes per year, while in the 1990s the illegal trade in CFCs was thought to be 20,000 tonnes per year.

HCFC smuggling is expected to be a growing menace, with a current world market of around a million tonnes per year.

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