It is an offence under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) to manufacture or import equipment that is charged with a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant, or designed to operate solely using a CFC or HCFC refrigerant. It is also an offence to manufacture or import refrigeration and air conditioning equipment insulated with foam manufactured with a CFC.
Some exceptions to the ban apply and are outlined in the Act and the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995. An equipment licence (EQPL) may be granted that allows for import for:
- Replacement parts for existing HCFC refrigeration or air conditioning equipment;
- 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, air conditioning equipment incorporated into a large boat or drilling rig).
An equipment licence (EQPL) may be granted that allows for import or manufacture for:
- Medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, and no practical and effective alternative exists;
- Equipment that is 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.
Low volume import exemption conditions for HCFC equipment
Exemptions for low volume imports of HCFC equipment without a licence ended on 31 December 2019 and are no longer available.
Further information about exemptions is available at Exemptions - Do I need a licence?
Equipment licence (EQPL)
Information on the equipment licence (EQPL) can be found at Equipment Licences (EQPL).
Import of personal equipment
Equipment containing CFCs or HCFCs may be imported without an equipment licence (EQPL) if the equipment:
- has been owned for more than 12 months, for private or domestic use before import; and
- is imported for private or domestic use in Australia.
Australian Border Force is responsible for the control of these items at the point of import. Your customs broker and/or Australian Border Force officers may require that you supply documentary evidence to demonstrate that the equipment is for personal use, for example registration papers, purchase invoice, insurance papers or warranty documents.