Refrigeration technicians across Barbados are being encouraged to keep accurate records of transactions taking place in their businesses.
Project Manager of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCEC) Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP), Rickardo Ward, stressed that the issue of record keeping was a serious one which technicians needed to adopt rather than wait for it to become mandatory.
He made these points during a recent HPMP stakeholder consultation at the Savannah Beach Hotel.
"You import stuff and you would expect that at some point in time there would be a need to collect some kind of statistics on it, and sometimes the most practical and effective way to get the estimate is [for the officials] to come to you," he said.
Mr. Ward added that there were discrepancies concerning what was reported by the National Ozone Unit of the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, and information received from the international community two years ago, and the estimate that was just completed as part of the HPMP.
"There are not that many importers of national refrigerants, so you wouldn’t expect to find a significant gap between what was reported in 2009 through official communication to our office and the survey now. The only answer that we have for that is that we are not attending to the business of maintaining records," he stressed.
He implored the technicians to pay careful attention to how they imported data as the country moved towards a complete phase-out of HCEC. "Failure to do so", he cautioned, could "result in under importing, and could lead to a five per cent reduction of HCFCs the following year".
Local Consultant with the HPMP, Grantley Parris, said the national survey had to be extended because enough data was not collected and added that one of the things he noted about the returned survey forms was that there was a lack of proper record keeping by stakeholders. This, he said, limited the consultants’ ability to make well informed decisions on the project thus forcing them to repeat the survey.
Meanwhile, International Consultant, Leslie Smith, said the absence of records was a common thread in the refrigeration sector across the Caribbean.
The stakeholders in attendance were further encouraged to join the local Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Association. This was necessary, he said, since all future actions issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, in the form of support for Barbados to meet its obligations, wouls require a demonstration of competence or involvement with an Association.