Australia bans the import of HCFC pre-charged airconditioners
Since 18 May 2011 , the import of most airconditioning equipment containing HCFC or designed to operate on HCFCs have been denied entry unless the equipment is exempt under the Regulations.
An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is required if an entity wishes to import equipment that contains ozone depleting substances or synthetic greenhouse gasses into Australia , including refrigeration and/or airconditioning equipment that contains a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant. HFCs and HCFCs are damaging to the environment as they are ozone depleting substances (ODSs) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs).
An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) may be required even if the airconditioner or refrigeration equipment is incorporated into another object, e.g. a car, caravan, or another vehicle (including earth moving equipment). It is an offence under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 to import ODS/SGG equipment without a licence.
Frequently asked questions
For more information about whether an ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is needed in your circumstances see:
One-off importers planning to import up to five pieces of equipment arriving in one consignment and containing less than 10Kg of gas in total may be eligible for a partial waiver of the licence application fee. The partial waiver reduces the application fee from $3000 to $400, with the licence expiring fourteen days after the equipment arrives OR fourteen days after the issue of the licence, whichever is the latest. A partial fee waiver is only available once every two years.
There is no provision in the Act or the Regulations that gives the Minister or his/her delegate the power to refund the licence application fee.
Expiry date of EQPL
Since 18 May 2011, when amendments to the Act came into force, all regular ODS/SGG equipment licences (EQPL) that were granted on and after that date generally expire two years from the date on which the licence is granted, unless a shorter date is specified.
ODS/SGG equipment licences for one-off, low volume imports (LVIL) that qualify for a partial fee waiver expire fourteen days after the equipment arrives OR fourteen days after the issue of the licence, whichever is the latest.
Applications should be lodged as early as possible, prior to the proposed goods being imported.
Normally, the department will aim to process applications within 2 weeks of receiving a fully completed application form that includes all supporting documentation and payment of the licence fee. However, the statutory timeframes of the Act stipulates that the department may take up to 60 days to process an application. You will need to keep the full 60 day processing time in mind when applying for a licence, as processing times do vary.
Applications for ODS/SGG equipment licences (EQPL) are broken up into ‘Regular’ and one-off, ‘Low Volume Importer’ licences, identified by the following:
- Regular Importers
Apply for this licence type if you will be regularly importing equipment that contains Ozone Depleting Substances or Synthetic Greenhouse Gases.
- Low Volume Importers (LVIL)
Apply for this licence type if you are a one-off importer planning to import up to five (5) pieces of ODS/SGG equipment arriving in one consignment and containing less than 10Kg of gas in total. An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) for one-off, low volume import (LVIL) is only granted once in every two years and it expires fourteen (14) days after the date of issue of the licence OR 14 days after the equipment arrives, whichever is the latest.
Please note: Airconditioning and refrigeration equipment designed to operate on Hydrocarbons, also known as ‘natural refrigerants’ (e.g. Ammonia (R717)) do not trigger the licence requirements under the Ozone Act.
- Importing vehicles, boats, caravans or any other equipment that may contain refrigerant gas into Australia
A non-refundable licence application fee of $3,000 is payable with the application unless a waiver has been granted. There is no provision in the Act or the Regulations that gives the Minister or his/her delegate the power to refund the licence application fee.
Please note: this includes situations where an applicant has lodged a licence application and then no longer requires a licence.
Assessment of applications will not commence until the full application fee is received by the department - $3,000 for a regular EQPL or $400 if you quality for the partial fee waiver for a one-off, Low Volume Import Licence (LVIL).
When applying for a licence or exemption under 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 (ODS) or Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (SGGs) whether incorporated into equipment or in cylinders).
Please see below to obtain a summary of the information that you will need to complete the application form, and a list of supporting documentation you must submit with your application.
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.
Important: If the trustee is a company, the application must be made using the ABN of the trustee. The ABN of the trustee may be different from the ABN of the company acting as the trustee.
ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) application form
- EQPL and LVIL - Online application for an ODS and/or SGG Equipment 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
Holders of an ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister showing the type and quantity of substances imported within that equipment. Licensees then need to pay levies based on the type and amount of scheduled substances imported.
The Import Levy is a cost recovery levy which applies to ODSs and is $3000 per ozone depleting potential tonne.
A cost recovery or "prescribed rate" component also applies to SGGs, however for these gases the amount is $165 per metric tonne. In addition, the carbon charge component applies to SGGs and is based on the carbon price and the global warming potential for each gas.
All fees collected, including late fees, are collected on behalf of the Commonwealth and are not subject to GST.
For further explanation on calculating the equivalent carbon price on synthetic greenhouse gases, please see www.environment.gov.au/equivalentcarbonprice
If no imports or exports were made during a reporting period, a 'nil' report is still 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).
|Reporting Period||Reports Due||Levy payment due by|
|1 January – 31 March||14 April||30 May|
|1 April – 30 June||14 July||29 August|
|1 July – 30 September||14 October||29 November|
|1 October – 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.
Online reporting form
Report imports of ODS and/or SGG Equipment
IMPORTANT: There are currently technical issues with the Excel spreadsheet that is contained within each of the Import Reporting forms. Please do not download or use this spreadsheet. Please enter import data directly into the report itself. The department apologises for any inconvenience caused.
- Form 1: Report equipment - Report imports of ODS and/or SGG Equipment (Including Nil report)
The department cross-checks information provided on quarterly reports with data provided by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Inaccurate reporting and late submissions are offences under the Act.
If you have any questions about reporting you may contact the Reporting Officer on +61 2 6274 1373.
It is a condition of all licences that the licensee does not allow another person or business to use their licence number.
If you can identify a current licence holder (Transferor) who wishes to transfer their licence to you (Transferee), a joint application for a transfer of a licence from the current licence holder to another person can be made. The department will not impose any application fee on you to complete the transfer although the new licensee (the Transferee) will still be required to pay the licence levies and report on a quarterly basis.
For further information please contact the Licensing Officer on +61 2 6274 1373 or email@example.com.
Joint application to transfer a licence
- Online application to transfer a licence – Transferor (current licence holder) application form
- Download Transferor Declaration (PDF - 200 KB) | (Word - 356 KB)
- Note: the current licence holder submits the online application then signs and posts the original Transferor Declaration to meet the requirements for original signatures in the licence transfer process.
- Online application to transfer a licence – Transferee (licence recipient) application form
For more information please contact the Import Licensing Team on:
Phone: +61 2 6274 1373
Licences and reporting
- EQPL and LVIL
- Controlled substances licences
- Essential Uses
- Used Substances
Importing into Australia
Importing a car, boat, caravan or fridge into Australia?
A licence may be required.
Equivalent carbon price for synthetic greenhouse gases
From 1 July 2012, an equivalent carbon price applies to certain synthetic greenhouse gases - hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons (excluding gases produced from aluminium smelting) and sulfur hexafluoride (including equipment or products which contain these gases). More about the equivalent carbon price