Import, export and manufacture of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases
Equipment licences (EQPL)
Controlled substances licences
About licences and reporting
The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) controls the manufacture, import and export of a range of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases in Australia.
The categories of ozone depleting substance controlled are:
- chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs);
- halon 1211, 1301 and 2402;
- carbon tetrachloride (CCl4);
- methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3);
- hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs);
- hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs);
- methyl bromide; and
- bromochloromethane (BCM).
The categories of synthetic greenhouse gases controlled are:
- hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);
- perfluorocarbons (PFCs);
- sulfur hexafluoride (SF6); and
- nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
The import, export and manufacture of these controlled substances, and the import and manufacture of certain equipment containing or designed to contain some of these substances, is prohibited in Australia unless the correct licence or exemption is held. The Act prohibits the import and manufacture of equipment that contains or relies upon CFCs, including foams blown with CFCs, and all types of equipment that contains or uses HCFCs, except in certain circumstances.
All licences to import or export ozone depleting substances carry a condition that the licensee must only import or export the substance from a country that has ratified the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol) and relevant subsequent Amendments.
- See the Register of Montreal Protocol Countries for more information.
It is a condition of all licences that the licensee does not allow another person or business to use their licence number.
There are four types of import/export licences under the Act.
- Equipment licences (EQPL): allow for the import of equipment that contains synthetic greenhouse gases, including hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). EQPLs may also be issued that allow for the import of equipment that contains or is designed to use hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in certain limited circumstances. EQPLs may also list other activities the licence holder may engage in that may otherwise be in contravention of the Act and associated Regulations.
- Controlled substances licences: allow for the import, export and manufacture of bulk HFCs, perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) (all known as synthetic greenhouse gases), HCFCs and methyl bromide. More information about:
- Essential uses licences: allow for the import, export and manufacture of CFCs, halons, methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), and bromochloromethane (BCMs). Such licences are only granted for a strictly limited range of essential uses, including laboratory and analytical uses, approved by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.
- Used substance licences: allow for the import and export of used or recycled chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), methyl chloroform (C2H3Cl3), methyl bromide, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) methyl bromide (CH3Br), bromochloromethane (CH2BrC1), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
There are specific circumstances under which an exemption from licensing requirements applies. Please check if your import activity is eligible for an exemption prior to applying for a licence as the licence application fee is not refundable. There is no provision in the Act or the associated Regulations that gives the power to refund the licence application fee. This includes situations where an applicant has lodged a licence application and then no longer requires a licence.
Records to be kept by licensees
If you hold a licence under the Act you have obligations to keep records under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Management Regulations 1995.
- Records to be kept by licensees - fact sheet
Licensees are required to report to the Department every six months, the type and amount of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gas manufactured, imported and exported, including in equipment. Holders of equipment licences (EQPL) are required to report the type and amount of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gas imported.
If you imported a scheduled substance for use as a feedstock (which does not require an import licence) you are required to provide reports to the Department.
If no imports or exports were made during a reporting period, you are not required to submit a report.
Reports may be lodged at any time before 11.59 pm on the 14th day following the end of each reporting period (including at any time during the relevant reporting period).
|Reporting Period||Reports Due|
|1 January – 30 June||14 July|
|1 July – 31 December||14 January|
NOTE: if the last day of the reporting period falls on a weekend or public holiday, the report is due by 11.59 pm on the next business/working day.
If you have any questions about reporting contact the Import Operations Team.
For translating and interpretation assistance telephone 131 450