Licences and reporting requirements

Import, export and manufacture of ODSs and SGGs

Importing cars, boats, caravans, fridges or other equipment



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 (ODSs) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) in Australia.

The specific ODSs controlled are: chlorofluorocarbon (CFC); halon 1211, 1301 and 2402; CCl4(Carbon tetrachloride); CH3CCl3 (Methyl chloroform); hydrobromofluorocarbon (HBFC); hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC); Methyl bromide; and bromochlormethane (BCM). The SGGs that are controlled are hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride.

The import, export and manufacture of these 'controlled substances', and the import and manufacture of certain products containing or designed to contain some of these substances, is prohibited in Australia unless the correct licence or exemption is held. The Act also prohibits the import and manufacture of products that contain or rely upon chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), including foams blown with CFCs.

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 and relevant subsequent Amendments.

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 licences and one exemption.

  1. Ozone Depleting Substances/Synthetic Greenhouse Gas equipment licences: (EQPL) used to import equipment that contains ozone depleting substances or synthetic greenhouse gasses, including airconditioning and refrigeration equipment that contain a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC).
  2. Controlled substances licences: used to import (in bulk), export and manufacture hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and/or sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), known as SGGs (synthetic greenhouse gases), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and methyl bromide.
  3. Essential uses licences: Since 1996 the Act has prohibited the import, export and manufacture of CFCs, halons, CH3CCl3(Methyl chloroform), CCl4(Carbon tetrachloride), and BCMs without an essential uses licence. Such licences are only granted for a strictly limited range of essential uses approved by the parties to the Montreal Protocol.
  4. Used substance licences: Since 1996 the Act has prohibited the import and export of used or recycled HCFCs, Methyl bromide, BCMs, CFCs, halon, CCl4(Carbon tetrachloride) and CH3CCl3(Methyl chloroform) without a used substance licence.
  5. Section 40 Exemptions: The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) prohibits the import or manufacture of products listed in Schedule 4 of the Act that contain or use a specified ozone depleting substance unless an exemption under section 40 of the Act has been approved.

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.

Licensees are required to report to the department every 3 months, the type and amount of ODS & SGG manufactured, imported and exported, including in ODS/SGG equipment. Holders of ODS/SGG equipment licences are required to report the type and amount of ODS and SGG imported.

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
1 January – 31 March 14 April
1 April – 30 June 14 July
1 July – 30 September 14 October
1 October – 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 imported a scheduled substance for use as a feedstock or purchased CFCs or HCFCs in Australia with the intention of exporting it for use on board ships or aircraft you are also required to provide quarterly reports to the department. Contact the reporting officer at ozonereporting@environment.gov.au to lodge a report. It is an offence to fail to comply with this requirement, in respect of which substantial penalties apply.

If you have any questions about reporting you may contact the Reporting Officer on 02 6274 1373.

More information

For more information please contact the Import Licensing Team on:
Phone: +61 2 6274 1373
Email: ozone@environment.gov.au

For translating and interpretation assistance telephone 131 450

For translating and interpretation assistance telephone 131 450