An equipment licence (EQPL) is required if you wish to import:
- Equipment containing or designed to use a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Most HCFC equipment is banned except for:
- replacement parts for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment containing a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant (this does not include a complete or substantially complete indoor or outdoor unit of a split system air conditioner)
- equipment insulated with foam manufactured with HCFC
- equipment that is incidental to the main import, and it is impractical to remove or retrofit the equipment (for example, equipment incorporated into a large boat or drilling rig)
- equipment that is essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, and no practical and effective alternative exists
- equipment for use in conjunction with the calibration of scientific, measuring or safety equipment
- equipment for test, monitoring, or laboratory and analytical use where there is no practical and effective alternative to that equipment
- Equipment containing a synthetic greenhouse gas (hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)) unless an exemption applies.
An EQPL is also required for equipment contained in other equipment, such as a car with an air conditioner.
- See our Frequently asked questions for more information about equipment
BULK GASES: This licence does not cover gases in transport or storage containers, such as cylinders, called ’bulk’ gases. If you are importing bulk gas you should apply for a controlled substance licence.
If you are unsure if you need a licence for bulk gas or equipment, please see further information at Do I need an equipment or bulk gas licence?
The import of most air conditioning and refrigeration equipment containing HCFC or chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) or designed to operate on HCFCs or CFCs is prohibited except in a small number of situations.
An EQPL is required if you wish to import equipment that contains or is designed to use an HCFC, or equipment that contains hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
An EQPL may be required even if the equipment, such as an air conditioner or refrigerator, is incorporated into another object, e.g. a car, caravan, or another vehicle (including earth moving equipment).
It is an offence under the Ozone Act to import ozone depleting substance and/or synthetic greenhouse gas equipment without a licence when one is required.
An EQPL is required to import some types of equipment ordinarily banned under the Ozone Act that may be imported in certain circumstances. Where these imports are allowed, they will be outlined on your EQPL. Previously, these activities were managed through the Section 40 exemption, which is no longer in operation.
In some circumstances, an EQPL may not be required. These circumstances are:
- for equipment designed to use a synthetic greenhouse gas (hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)) where the equipment does not contain gas, including where the gas has been removed prior to being imported and the importer has documentary evidence to confirm this; or
- where an exemption from licensing requirements applies (e.g. the low volume import exemption for equipment containing synthetic greenhouse gases or the personal use exemption).
Please check if your import is eligible for an exemption before applying for a licence.
To discuss whether an exemption may apply please contact the Import Operations Team prior to the import of the items and before payment of the non-refundable licence application fee.
There is no provision in the Act to refund the licence application fee. This includes situations where an applicant has lodged a licence application and then no longer requires a licence.
For more information about whether an EQPL is needed in your circumstances see:
Applications should be lodged as early as possible, prior to the proposed goods being imported.
The Department aims to assess applications within two weeks of receiving a fully completed application form that includes all supporting documentation and payment of the licence application fee. Please note the statutory timeframes of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) stipulate that the Department may take up to 60 days to assess an application. You will need to keep the full 60 day processing time in mind when applying for a licence, as processing times vary.
Licence application fee
A non-refundable licence application fee of $3000 is payable with the application, unless a fee waiver has been granted. Please note the licence fee is non-refundable even in situations where an applicant has lodged a licence application and then no longer requires it. There is no provision in the Act to refund the licence application fee.
The licence application fee may be waived for import of equipment containing 25 kilograms or less of HCFC if the equipment is for test, monitoring, laboratory and analytical, medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety, or public safety purposes, where no practical alternative exists. Please contact the Import Licensing Team for more information.
Expiry date of EQPL
EQPLs generally expire two years from the date on which the licence comes into force, unless a shorter date is specified.
Renewing an EQPL
EQPL holders who will require an EQPL after the expiry date of their current licence may apply for a licence renewal. Licence holders will be sent an email with a link for a renewal. Licence renewals are subject to approval by the Minister or delegate and applications must be made no later than 14 days before the licence ceases to be in force. After that time a complete new application must be submitted.
Online application form
Equipment licence (EQPL) application form
Please note that a trust is not a legal entity - a licence or exemption cannot be issued in the name of a trust. If you are submitting an application for an organisation registered as a trust, you must make the application in the name of the trustee of the trust (e.g. Joe Blogs as Trustee for the ABC Trust or XYZ Pty Ltd as the Trustee for ABC Trust) and supply the Department with a copy of the Trust Deed.
Please contact the Import Operations Team if you have any questions about applying as a trustee.
When applying for a licence or exemption under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) you will be required to provide supporting documentation and detailed information about yourself and your organisation (if applicable), as well as information about the proposed activity (e.g. import, export or manufacture of ozone depleting substances).
A summary of the information you will need to complete the application form, along with a list of supporting documentation you must submit with your application, is provided below.
Summary information about EQPLs
- Apply for this licence type if you will be importing equipment containing or designed to operate on hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) or equipment containing synthetic greenhouse gases.
- Please note: An equipment licence is not required for imports of up to 25 kilograms of synthetic greenhouse gas (hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)) equipment during a calendar year.
- Please note: Low volume imports of HCFC equipment without a licence will no longer be allowed from 1 January 2020. From then, unless the import is for personal use, HCFC equipment can only be imported under an equipment licence (EQPL).
- An EQPL is not required for air conditioning and refrigeration equipment containing carbon dioxide (R744), hydrocarbons (e.g. butane (R600) or isobutane (R600a)) or ammonia (R717) unless the refrigerant is in a blend containing HCFCs, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 or NF3.
- An exemption may apply for vehicles or other equipment imported for personal use that have been owned for more than twelve months.
- Further information on exemptions is available at Exemptions - Do I need a licence?
- Importing vehicles, boats, caravans or any other equipment that may contain refrigerant gas into Australia
Application fees are non-refundable. The application fee for an EQPL is $3000. There is no provision in the Act to refund the licence application fee paid as part of a licence application. This includes where the applicant subsequently decides the licence is not required. The licence application fee may be waived for import of equipment containing 25 kilograms or less of HCFC if the equipment is for certain purposes and no practical alternative exists. Please contact the Import Licensing Team for more information.
You will need the following information to complete the application form.
- Personal/Organisation details – the legally recognised name of the entity applying for the licence. In the case of organisations, the legal name must match the name registered on the Australian Business Register website.
- The current Australian Business Number (ABN) (if an organisation)
- Street and postal address
- The name and contact details of the applicant (if an individual) or authorised person (if an organisation) signing the application form.
- The name and contact details of a contact person responsible for submitting reports to the Department.
- The name and contact details of a contact person responsible for handling accounts enquiries from the Department.
- The details of the goods you intend to import, including:
- The approximate date for your first shipment's arrival in Australia.
- Product category
- Type of refrigerant or chemical contained in the equipment
- Charge size (the amount of refrigerant or chemical contained within each piece of equipment) in grams
- The number of individual units
- The total amount of refrigerant or chemical (in grams)
Required supporting documentation to accompany the application form
- A copy of the certified identification of the person signing the application form (for organisations, the person signing the application form must be the director or someone in the organisation who has the authority to sign on behalf of the director(s). Please refer to the list of people able to certify documents in the Statutory Declaration Regulations 2018).
- Documentation confirming membership with an approved Product Stewardship Scheme, currently Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA).
- If a trust, a copy of the deed confirming person signing the application has the authority to sign on behalf of other trustees.
- If a partnership, you must supply a document that shows authority to sign and submit this licence application on behalf of the other partners.
It is a condition of all licences that the licensee does not allow another person or business to use their licence number.
Holders of an EQPL are required to provide twice yearly reports showing the type and quantity of substances imported within that equipment. Licensees then need to pay import levies based on the type and amount of scheduled substances imported.
The Import/Manufacture Levy is a cost recovery levy. For HCFCs it is $3000 per ozone depleting potential tonne (equivalent to $165 per metric tonne for the most common HCFC – HCFC22) and for synthetic greenhouse gases it is $165 per metric tonne.
Note: For reporting periods after 1 January 2018, if the total of the licence levies payable by a licensee for a reporting period is less than or equal to $330, the levy will be waived. This amount is specified in the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 (the Regulations) and may change in the future. Any changes to this threshold will be amended in the Regulations and notified on the Department website.
All fees are collected by the Department on behalf of the Commonwealth and are not subject to GST.
If no imports or exports were made during a reporting period, a report is not required.
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).
Levy payments may be paid at any time before 11.59pm on the 60th day following the end of each reporting period (including at any time during the relevant reporting period).
|Reporting Period||Reports Due||Levy payment due by|
|1 January – 30 June||14 July||29 August|
|1 July – 31 December||14 January||1 March*|
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.
* Note: In a leap year 60 days will be 29 February.
Online reporting form
- Form 1: Report equipment - Report imports of equipment
The Department cross-checks information provided on reports with data provided by the Australian Border Force. Inaccurate reporting and late submissions are offences under the Act.
If you have any questions about reporting please contact the Import Operations Team.
If you want to change the nominated contact details please use our online request form: