The Ministry of Industry and Trade has set annual import quotas for ozone-depleting HCFCs from 2012 to 2019.

The move is to fulfil Vietnam 's obligations to the eventual phase-out of HCFCs by 2030 under the Montreal Protocol to which Vietnam is a signatory.

HCFCs, which are widely used in air conditioning, insulating foams and industrial refrigeration around the world, are considered strong ozone-depleting substances and powerful greenhouse gases.

For HCFC-141b, which has the highest ozone depleting potential of any HCFC, the 2012 quota has been set at 500 tonnes, dropping to 300 tonnes in 2013 and 150 tonnes in 2014, with phase-out targeted for 2015.

For other HCFCs, by 2019 annual imports will be no more than 3,600 tonnes.

Under the new restrictions, trade in HCFCs will only be permitted with partners in countries which have ratified the Montreal Protocol. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has been tasked with publishing the latest list of Montreal Protocol members on its website.

According to MONRE's Department of Hydro-Meteorology and Climate Change, Vietnam used up about 3,700 tonnes of HCFCs in 2010./.