The EPA announced on 30 October 2020 that “laughing gas” has been listed as the first concerned chemical substance. The EPA will work with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), and the National Police Agency (NPA) to implement joint control. Activities that involve the manufacture, import, sale, use and storage of laughing gas shall acquire prior permission, and all operating information shall be reported. In addition, online transactions of laughing gas are banned immediately.
A heavy fine of NT$30,000 to NT$300,000 will be imposed for any illegal possession of laughing gas. If the illegal possession causes adverse effects on human health or death, violators may be subject to life imprisonment, or more than seven years of imprisonment and fines of up to NT$10,000,000.
The EPA points out that laughing gas is the first concerned chemical substance that requires enhanced control, which will be implemented based on the “4 dos and 2 don’ts” principles: “do get permits, do label, do keep online records of every transaction daily, do report every month, don’t sell or buy online, and don’t operate without permits.” The purpose of the measures is to better track the flow of laughing gas with transaction records and reports. In addition, except for specific purposes that are approved by the government, addition of sulfur dioxide (SO2) as an odorant to laughing gas will be required in the future to deter its improper use.
Business operators who were already using laughing gas for industrial purposes before the announcement are to start keeping online records of all transactions every day, submit monthly reports, and stop any online transactions as of the announcement date. The businesses are also required to acquire permits, label laughing gas with the “industrial use only, do not inhale” warning, prepare safety data sheets, and add SO2 in accordance with the regulations within six months of the announcement, which will be made by 1 May 2021.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (11)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)