EEA - European Environment Agency

09/16/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2022 04:28

Consumption of ozone-depleting substances

Consumption of ozone-depleting substances

The EU continues to actively phase out ozone-depleting substances (ODS), in line with its commitment under the Montreal Protocol. Data for 2021 show that consumption of ODS in the EU grew, following several years of reductions. This increase reflects a significant growth in 2021 in stockpiling of ODS that were produced for export. EU ODS consumption is expected to decline again when the quantities stockpiled in 2021 are exported.

Published: 16 Sep 2022 12:22‒ 25min read

In 1989, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layerentered into force. Its objective is to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The protocol covers around 100 individual substances with a high ozone-depleting potential (ODP), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride (CTC), 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), bromochloromethane (BCM) and methyl bromide (MB), all of which are referred to as 'controlled substances'. Within the EU, the use of and trade in substances is regulated by Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009(known as the Ozone Regulation). The Ozone Regulation is more ambitious than the Montreal Protocol and goes further in many aspects, for instance it has a quicker phase-out schedule, covers more substances and regulates not only substances in bulk, but also those contained in products and equipment.

In the EU-27, ODS are only used, to the extent allowed by the Montreal Protocoland the EU Ozone Regulation. In line with this legislation, there are only a few exemptions to the overall phase out of ODS. Exemptions concern for instance some industrial processes, firefighting, laboratory and analytical uses.

In 2021, the EU's consumption of controlled substances amounted to 1,176 metric tonnes, up from a negative consumption level of -2,688 metric tonnes in 2020. The consumption of controlled substances, when expressed in metric tonnes, was largely driven by large quantities of CTC that were stockpiled before export. Expressed in ODP tonnes, consumption in 2021 amounted to 1,627 ODP tonnes, up from -2,761 ODP tonnes in 2020.

The positive consumption level in 2021 can be explained by ODS that were produced for feedstock outside the EU, to be used in the manufacture of such products as refrigerants, foam blowing agents, polymers, pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals. It is expected that these quantities will be exported in the following year, leading to an average negative consumption over both years.

For more information and data reported by companies under the Ozone Regulation, see the online ODS data viewer.

In an effort to strengthen the EU legislation on ozone layer protection, the European Commission published a proposal for a revised EU Ozone Regulation on 5 April 2022.

The chart above shows the decreasing consumption of ozone-depleting substances covered by the Montreal Protocolin the EU and worldwide. Globally, consumption of ODS controlled under the Montreal Protocol has declined by 99% in the period 1986-2020 . However, the ozone layer is not expected to recover fully before the second half of this century. This is because once released, ozone depleting substances stay in the atmosphere for many years and continue to cause damage.

Despite global progress in past years to phase out ODS, more needs to be done. From 2012, unexpectedly high concentrations of the ODS CFC-11 were detected in the atmosphere, suggesting that its production had resumed illegally despite the global ban on production and consumption of this chemical under the Montreal Protocol. This alert resulted in Parties to the Montreal Protocol taking urgent actions. Preliminary data suggest that global emissions decreased after 2017. It will be important to ensure that the illegal production and trade of ODS are continually monitored and prevented in all global regions, as this could delay ozone layer recovery significantly.

Supporting information


ODS are long-lived chemicals that contain chlorine and/or bromine and can deplete the stratospheric ozone layer. This indicator quantifies the current state of the ozone layer and the progress being made towards meeting the EU's Montreal Protocol commitments.


Methodology for indicator calculation

Maximum ozone hole area

This indicator presents the maximum ozone hole area in km2. The ozone hole area is determined from total ozone satellite measurements. It is defined as the region of ozone with values of below 220 DU located south of 40 °S. The maximum ozone hole area is provided in km2 by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS -

Consumption of ozone-depleting substances

The indicator presents ODS consumption in units of tonnes of ODS, which is the amount of ODS consumed, multiplied by their respective ODP value. UNEP Ozone Secretariat data are already provided in ODP tonnes. All data can be downloaded from

Formulae for calculating consumption are defined by Articles 1 and 3 of the Montreal Protocoland can be accessed here:

Simply put, consumption is defined as production plus imports minus exports. Amounts destroyed or used as feedstock are subtracted from production. Amounts of MB used for quarantine and pre-shipment applications are excluded. Exports to non-parties are included, but are not allowed.

Parties report each of the above components annually to the Ozone Secretariat in official data reporting forms. The parties do not, however, make the above subtractions and other calculations themselves. The Ozone Secretariat performs this task itself.

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling takes place.

Methodology references

Policy/environmental relevance

The 1987 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Montreal Protocolis widely recognised as one of the most successful multilateral environmental agreements to date. Its implementation has led to a global decrease in the impact of ODS on the atmosphere. The agreement covers the phase-out of over 200 individual ODS including CFCs, halons, CTC, TCA, HCFCs, HBFCs, BCM and MB. The Montreal Protocol controls the consumption and production of these substances, not their emissions.

Following the signing of the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent amendments and adjustments, policy measures have been taken to limit or phase out the production and consumption of ODS to protect the stratospheric ozone layer against depletion. This indicator tracks the progress of EU Member States towards this limiting or phasing out of ODS consumption.

For the EU, the ratification dates were the following:


Date of ratification

Vienna Convention

17 October 1988

Montreal Protocol

16 December 1988

London Amendment

20 December 1991

Copenhagen Amendment

20 November 1995

Montreal Amendment

17 November 2000

Beijing Amendment

25 March 2002

EU Member States have made tremendous progress in reducing the consumption and production of ODS since the signing of the Montreal Protocol. In that time, ODS production has fallen from over half a million ODP tonnes to practically zero, not including production for exempted uses. Since 2009, EU Member States have also been subject to the more stringent EU ODS Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 744/2010 amending Regulation (EC) 1005/2009), which applies to additional substances and accelerates the phase-out of the remaining ODS in the EU.


The international target under the ozone conventions and protocols is the complete phase-out of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

Related policy documents

Accuracy and uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

Policies focus on the production and consumption of ODS rather than emissions, which are what actually harm the ozone layer. The reason is that emissions from multiple small sources are much more difficult to monitor accurately than industrial production and consumption. Consumption is the driver of industrial production. Production and consumption can precede emissions by many years, as emissions typically take place after the disposal of products in which ODS are used (fire extinguishers, refrigerators, etc.). The same is true for sales of ODS for certain uses and their actual use.

Data set uncertainty

Data provided by the Ozone Secretariat and the EEA database on ozone-depleting substancesare based on reporting from companies that produce, import, export, use or destroy ODS. A number of rigorous quality checks ensure a high degree of completeness and correctness. The quality of the data ultimately remains the responsibility of each reporting company.

Omissions and double-counting are theoretically possible because of the nature of the reporting obligation under the EU Ozone Regulation. It is estimated that such uncertainties affect a negligible part of the data.

Rationale uncertainty

Policies focus on the production and consumption of ODS rather than on emissions. The reason is that emissions from multiple small sources are much more difficult to monitor accurately than industrial production and consumption. Consumption is the driver of industrial production. Production and consumption can precede emissions by many years, as emissions typically take place after the disposal of products in which ODS are used (fire extinguishers, refrigerators, etc.).

Data sources and providers Institutional mandate


DPSIRDriving forcesTopicsClimate change mitigationIndustryTagsClimate change mitigationOzone-depleting substancesCLIM049Temporal coverage
Geographic coverage
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Earth
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
TypologyPerformance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)UN SDGsUnit of measure

Metric tonnes and ODP tonnes; Consuption in ODP tonnes, 1986=100

Frequency of disseminationOnce a yearContact[email protected]

References and footnotes