Operation DEMETER VI: 131 Seizures in Illegal Transboundary Waste & Ozone Depleting Substances Trade
73 customs administrations, in partnership with the World Customs Organization, successfully implemented Operation DEMETER VI with a focus on transboundary shipments of illegal waste and ozone depleting substances (ODS). The operation resulted in 131 seizures including nearly 99,000 tonnes of waste and an additional 78,000 pieces of waste materials, as well as 42 tonnes of substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
About 92% of the seized waste commodities were metal waste (90,872 tonnes), and about 7% consisted of various types of plastic waste (6,859 tonnes). Other commodities seized included machines and electric/electronic waste, waste from production and manufacturing, other industrial waste, contaminated used clothing, municipal waste, used tyres, waste solar panels, paper waste, textile waste, and mixed wood waste. Nearly 75% of ODS seized were HFCs (over 31 tonnes), which are mostly used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, in the manufacture of foams and insulating materials, as well as fire extinguishing agents.
Operation DEMETER IV is a successor to several DEMETER operations dating back to 2009. The Operation was led by the WCO secretariat, the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) for Asia/Pacific and Western Europe, as well as China Customs. It was supported by other partners including the European Anti-Fraud Office, INTERPOL, EUROPOL, EU Network for Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), secretariat of the Basel Convention, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).