Legislation of Japan←
Act on Protection of the Ozone Layer
In 1988 Japan adopted the Act on Protection of the Ozone Layer. The aim of the act was to ensure compliance with Japan’s obligations under global environmental treaties, to start with the Montreal Protocol, at the country level.
The act limited production and stipulated phase-out schedule for substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol and confirmation of destruction or use as raw material for substances produced out of the limit. Under the act, consumers of the regulated substances are to take measures to efficient use and prevention of release into the atmosphere. To monitor condition of the ozone layer and concentration of controlled substances, the act provides for collection of data on actual ODS production and consumption and public awareness of the ozone layer destruction.
The act is amended in accordance with the amendments to the Montreal Protocol. The latest amendments resulted from the Kigali amendment: for substances produced and consumed under the Act, GWP values are introduced, 18 HFCs are listed and their phase-out schedule based on percents of the baseline calculated in CO2-eq. is specified. The amendments will come in full force on 01.01.2019.
Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons
Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons was adopted in 2015 because its predecessor of 2001 resulted to be ineffective.
The previous act required CFC, HCFC and HFC to be destructed or reclaimed for further use after recovery from commercial refrigeration equipment and air conditioners during repair or decommissioning. But emissions of fluorinated gases grew fast and experts expected them to double from 2011 till 2020. All together, only 30% of refrigerant was recovered from decommissioned equipment, and leakage rates from working equipment were unexpectedly significantly higher.
As a result, 2015 saw a new act which introduced requirements to the whole life cycle of fluorinated greenhouse gases.
According to the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons, producers of fluorocarbons are to reduce GWP of produced and imported substances and replace them with substances that do not contain fluorine. At the same time they are to launch production of alternative refrigerants and foaming agents, improve technologies, organize collection, destruction and reclamation of fluorocarbons.
Producers and importers of refrigeration equipment and air-conditioners are obliged to replace equipment based on refrigerants, foaming agents and propellants with high GWP with equipment based on low-GWP fluorocarbons or alternatives with zero or near-zero GWP (see table).
|Type of product||Refrigerant currently used||Target GWP||Year|
|Domestic air conditioners||R410A||2090||750||2018|
|Commercial air conditioners (for offices, shops)||R410A||2090||750||2020|
|Air conditioners for motor vehicles (light motor vehicles and minibuses up to 11 passengers)||R134a||1430||150||2023|
|Condenser blocks and refrigerating equipment with rated capacity of compressor more than 1.5 KW||R404A||3920||1500||2025|
|Refrigerated warehouses with min area 50,000 m2, new facilities||R404A||3920||100||2019|
|Foam insulation and insulation construction materials (foaming agents)||R245fa||1030||100||2020|
|Dust blowers except for applications that require non-flammable gases (propellants)||R134a||1430||10||2019|
Users must inspect equipment at least once in a three months and qualified inspection as specified by the act (depending on the type and capacity of equipment), and notify respective authorities in case of leakages from 1,000 t CO2-eq/y.
To recover regulated substances or dispose equipment containing them, maintenance or disposal operators must involve registered fluorocarbon charging/recovery operators.
Fluorocarbon charging/recovery operators shall comply with the established procedure, and deliver recovered fluorocarbons for reclamation or destruction if they do not do that themselves.
Approved fluorocarbon reclamation/destruction operators shall reclaim and destruct substances according to the standards.