As of this past thursday and for a period of 10 business days, the regulation of Law 9703 for the prohibition of “expanded polystyrene” will be in public consultation, which prohibits the importation into the national territory marketing and delivery of containers made from expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) in any commercial establishment.
The regulation in consultation raises a series of exceptions to the prohibition for the use of styrofoam, such as:
a) Cases in which, for reasons of conservation or protection of the products, the use of alternative materials is not environmentally viable.
b) The packaging of household appliances.
c) Industrial uses.
d) Uses in personal protective equipment, motorcycle and bicycle helmets.
e) Uses in flotation equipment for aquatic rescue.
f) Uses as a thermal or acoustic insulator.
g) Secondary packaging or packaging for vaccines and medicines.
h) Secondary packaging or packaging for food for special regimens of infant formula, and supplements to the diet.
i) Secondary packaging or packaging for which the manufacturer/importer voluntarily establishes a collection system and extended responsibility of the producer/importer in accordance with Decree 38272-S, of January 7, 2014 “Regulation for the Declaration of Special Handling Waste,” and for those who have a current destruction contract with a waste manager authorized by the Ministry of Health, for treatment or energy use that reduces the volume of polystyrene to less than 5% of its volume original.
j) The uses in constructive facades, in which the material is immobilized during the useful life of the building.
The regulation in consultation indicates that producers or importers who wish to avail themselves to the exceptions must submit the request for exemption from the prohibition of the use of expanded polystyrene by letter of its legal representative before the Ministry of Health who, through its Directorate of Radiological Protection and Environmental Health, will issue the approval or denial of the request.
If the application is approved, said the approval will be valid for 2 years and will be issued only once. This document must be attached by the applicant to the customs procedures before the Ministry of Finance during the validity period of the exemption.