§ Mr. Green
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 8 July 1999,Official Report, column 589, on refrigerants, if he will estimate the potential number of signatories to the Declaration of Intent in relation to reducing emissions of HFCs; and how many signatories there were at the latest available date. 
§ Mr. Meale
The current number of signatories to the Declaration of Intent with the air conditioning and refrigeration industry is 205. It is difficult to estimate the potential number of signatories to the Declaration of Intent because there are a large number of smaller air conditioning and refrigeration companies in operation, many of which do not belong to a trade association. It is important to note that those who have already signed up are mostly members of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) and much larger companies in general.
§ Mr. Meale
The proposed new Council Regulation (EC) on substances that deplete the ozone layer, which is expected to enter into force next year, will require the Government to define the minimum qualification requirements of servicing personnel who handle ozone-depleting refrigerants.
We will be consulting industry about the appropriate level of qualification needed. We are also considering whether these requirements should be extended to cover servicing personnel handling non-ozone-depleting refrigerants.