Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are ozone depleting substances (ODS). The import, export and manufacture of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) is controlled under Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) since 1996.
A controlled substances licence is required to manufacture HCFCs and for the import and export of any amount of HCFC that is not contained in products or equipment.
HCFC quota is required to import or manufacture HCFCs. The maximum amount of quota that can be allocated is determined by the annual HCFC industry limit and the individual use of quota in part of the previous licence period.
You should only apply for a Controlled Substances Licence (CSL) for HCFCs if:
- You are a current holder of a CSL for HCFCs and you have been allocated HCFC quota for the current licence period;
- You have identified an existing Quota holder who has agreed to transfer HCFC quota or part of a HCFC quota to you if you are granted a CSL for HCFCs . (You will be required to provide the name or the licence number of the licensee who has agreed to transfer HCFC quota to you).
If you do not satisfy one of the two categories above, DO NOT submit the application or pay the non-refundable application fee. Please contact the Licensing Officer on +61 2 6274 1373 if you require further clarification.
We strongly encourage you to call the Import licensing Team on +61 2 6274 1373 before applying for a HCFC controlled substance licence, so we can advise you whether the amount of quota for the current calendar year has already expired, thus preventing you from submitting the application form and paying the non-refundable fee.
Normally, the department will aim to process applications within 2 weeks of receiving a fully completed application form including all supporting documentation and payment of the licence fee. However, the statutory timeframes of the Act stipulates that department may take up to 60 days to process an application.
Applications should be lodged as early as possible, prior to the proposed goods being imported or exported.
A non-refundable licence application fee of $15,000 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.
The Minister may waive the application fee for a controlled substances licence if:
- the licence is applied for to allow the manufacture, import or export of less than half a tonne of a scheduled substance; and
- the Minister is satisfied that the import, export or manufacture is for test purposes.
Applications may take up to 8 weeks to process.
*Note: if you are applying to import, manufacture or export HCFCs AND Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (HFCs, PFCs and/or SF6) a non-refundable $30,000 application fee applies.
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.
Required information - You will need the following information on hand to complete the application form
- Personal/Company 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 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 that will be responsible for submitting reports to the department on a quarterly basis
- Details about the proposed activity (import, export or manufacture of HCFCs), including country of origin or country of destination
- If you are an existing licensee with allocated HCFC quota for the current period – provide your licence number and the total quantity (in Ozone Depleting Potential tonnes) of HCFCs imported or manufactured during the current licence period (you may need to refer to quarterly reports you submitted to department throughout the current licence period)
- If HCFC quota is being transferred to you - provide the name or the licence number of the licensee who has agreed to transfer HCFC quota to you. An officer of the Department will contact the current quota holder to confirm the amount of quota being transferred to you.
- If you answer YES to any of the questions under the Suitability Questionnaire you will need to provide details outlining the circumstances under which the event(s) occurred.
- If a PARTNERSHIP, you must supply a document that shows authority to sign and submit this licence application on behalf of the other partners.
Required supporting documentation - You will need the following supporting documentation on hand to accompany the application form
- A copy of the certified1 ID 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)).
- Documentation confirming membership with an approved Product Stewardship Scheme, currently Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA)
- If a TRUST, a copy of the deed confirming that the person signing the application has the authority to sign on behalf of other trustees.
- If you are applying for a fee waiver – supporting documentary evidence that the import/export is for test purposes and the amount is less than ½ tonne.
Controlled Substances Licence to import, export or manufacture HCFCs
- Online application for a Controlled Substances licence for HCFCs (including application for HCFC quota)
In granting a licence, the Minister will consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person. Section 16 of the Act lists matters to which the Minister shall have regard to when making this decision. The Minister may also consider other matters.
A controlled substances licence for HCFCs comes into force on the day specified on it and stays in force until the end of the licence period in which it is granted, unless it is cancelled or stops being in force for any other reason, before then.
The current licensing period commenced on 1 January 2012 and ends on 31 December 2013.
HCFCs are being phased out globally under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Australia has adopted a gradual phase-down of HCFCs. The level of permitted imports decreases every two years, as specified in the table below.
|Year||Annual import limit (ODP tonnes*)|
|2016 – 2029||2.5|
*1 ODP tonne equates to 9 metric tonnes of HCFC-141b or 18 tonnes of HCFC-22
To import or manufacture HCFCs, sufficient HCFC quota is required. The maximum amount of quota that can be allocated is determined by the annual HCFC industry limit and the individual use of quota in part of the previous licence period.
The HCFC quota for the current licence period has been fully allocated. However, if you can identify a current quota holder who wishes to transfer their total quota, or part of their quota to you, an application to transfer quota can be made under section 35 of the Act.
The recipient of the quota must be a holder of a Controlled Substances Licence. If you are not a current holder of a Controlled Substances Licence, you will be required to apply and pay the $15,000 non-refundable licence application fee before the transfer of quota can occur.
If you applied, and have been granted a Controlled Substances Licence for HCFCs, and you have identified a quota holder who is willing to transfer their total HCFC quota, or part of their quota to you, the current holder of HCFC quota (T ransferor) will be required to submit an application to transfer quota to the Minister .
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 Controlled Substances 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
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 a controlled substances licence for HCFCs are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister showing the type and quantity of HCFCs manufactured, imported, and/or exported. Licensees then need to pay a levy based on the quantity of substances imported (or manufactured should this commence in Australia).
The Manufacture/Import levy is a cost recovery or "prescribed rate" levy of $3000 per ozone depleting potential (ODP) tonne for HCFCs imported or manufactured.
If no imports or exports were made during a reporting period, a 'nil' report is still required.
The Import/Manufacture levy is payable by the 60th calendar day following the end of the current reporting period (see table below).
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.
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.
Report IMPORTS of HCFCs (including Nil report)
- Form 2: HCFC reporting - Report imports of HCFCs (including Nil report)
Report EXPORTS of HCFCs (including Nil report)
- Report exports of HCFCs (including Nil report)
Report form for exports of bulk HCFCs (including Nil reports)
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.
The Ozone Protection Act 1989 (the Act) prohibits the import and manufacture of products that contain or rely upon chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
These include foams blown with CFCs such as:
- extruded polystyrene packaging & insulation board
- rigid polyurethane foam products
- moulded polyurethane foam
- CFC foams insulation in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.
The Ozone Protection Act 1989 also prohibits the import of polyols blended in HCFCs, including, for example 141b, 22 and 142b. Importation is prohibited unless a licence and HCFC quota are granted under the Act.
The Australian Government looks forward to continuing to work with industry and the community to protect the ozone layer.
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