Equivalent carbon price

Equivalent carbon price for synthetic greenhouse gases

Frequently asked questions

Exemptions to the equivalent carbon price

Last updated: 2 July 2012

Why are exemptions applied?

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and related legislation only allow exemptions in certain circumstances where it is impracticable to apply the equivalent carbon price, or where synthetic greenhouse gases are used for a 'medical, veterinary, health or safety' purpose.

What products are exempt?

Medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices, veterinary devices and imported foam and foam products are exempt.

The Government is currently considering a proposal to exempt blast bags. Information will be available through the website once a decision is made.

Why did the government decide to exempt medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices?

Medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices have been exempted as the administrative costs and regulatory burden of collecting an equivalent carbon price for the small amount of gases contained in medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices outweigh the environmental benefits of applying an equivalent carbon price levy. The government also does not want to discourage people from accessing necessary and life-saving medicines.

Why did the government decide to exempt imported foams?

Most products contain synthetic greenhouse gases in an easily measurable form, for example, in a cylinder within a refrigerator or car refrigeration system.

However, during the manufacture of foam (including foam products), synthetic greenhouse gases are sometimes used and trapped in pockets within the foam. This makes it impracticable to detect the presence, or type and amount of synthetic greenhouse gas present, without expensive and destructive testing, or seeking advice from the original manufacturer. Some of these products are also manufactured without using a synthetic greenhouse gas.

For these reasons, it is currently impracticable to apply an equivalent carbon price to imported foams.

How do businesses apply for an exemption?

Exemptions of other products will be considered on a case by case basis, in accordance with the legislation. Applications must be made in writing to the Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities or Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, and sent to the following address:

Environment Standards Branch
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Applicants will need to provide substantial information to support a case for an exemption under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management legislation.