The European Commission has published its Decision on the quantities of controlled substances allowed, for essential uses in the Community, in 1996, under Council Regulation No 3093/94 on substances that deplete the ozone layer. Council Regulation 3093/94 provides for the phasing out, from 1 January 1995, of certain controlled substances that deplete the ozone layer (chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, l,l,l-trichloroethane and HBFCs). Certain exemptions are, however, allowed for a number of uses defined as "essential" in accordance with the following criteria: - Use of these substances is necessary for health and/or safety or is critical for the functioning of society (encompassing cultural and intellectual aspects); - There are no available technically and economically feasible alternatives or substitutes that are acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health. Production and consumption, if any, of controlled substances is permitted only if: - All economically feasible steps have been taken to minimize the essential use and associated emission of the controlled substance; - The controlled substance is not available in sufficient quantity and quality from existing stocks of banked or recycled controlled substances, also bearing in mind the need of developing countries for controlled substances. The Commission is required to determine, on a yearly basis, for which essential uses these products may be manufactured and to set limits on the quantities that may be produced. The present Decision sets out the relevant limits for the calendar year 1996. Particular reference is made to the production of metered dose inhalers (for the treatment of asthma and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases) which is recognized, under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, as meeting the requirements of the agreed definition for essential uses.