The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) controls the import, manufacture and export of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases, and equipment that contains those gases, through a variety of licences, bans and reporting obligations. Exemptions to these controls exist.
Please note: some exemptions have specific application processes and conditions. It is important that you read the relevant licensing information on this website carefully before importing, exporting or manufacturing an ozone depleting substance or synthetic greenhouse gas, or equipment that contains those gases.
It is an offence to fail to comply with licensing requirements and substantial penalties may apply.
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Low volume importers of equipment
Synthetic greenhouse gas equipment: An equipment licence is not required for imports of up to 25 kilograms of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) equipment during a calendar year.
Ozone depleting substance equipment: From 1 January 2020, low volume imports of HCFC equipment without a licence will no longer be allowed. From then, unless the import is for personal use, HCFC equipment can only be imported under an equipment licence, and only if it meets strict criteria.
Import of personal equipment
An equipment licence (EQPL) is not required for equipment that 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.
Medical or veterinary products
Exemptions from licensing and levy requirements apply to some medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices that contain synthetic greenhouse gases.
What are medical devices?
Medical devices are defined as devices that meet the definition for registration on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods Register (ATGR). Examples of exempt device types registered on the ATGR that contain scheduled substances are provided below.
Importers of medical devices do not need an import licence nor do they require approval for an exemption prior to import. Importers of items that are not registered on the ATGR may seek guidance from the Department on whether items are exempt.
- Metered dose inhalers
- Equipment and gas for eye surgery purposes
- Adhesive spray used in stomal applications
- Linear accelerators
- Electron microscopes
- X-ray material examination equipment
- Dye for ultrasound (tumour growth measurements)
- Sports medicine as cold sprays
- Cold gels for use in laser skin treatments
Foams blown with synthetic greenhouse gases
Exemptions from licensing and levy requirements apply to some products that contain synthetic greenhouse gases. This includes imported foam equipment or foam products (other than expanding polyurethane foam aerosols), or foam equipment or products (other than expanding polyurethane foam aerosols) included in other imported products or equipment.
An equipment licence (EQPL) is not required for importing these goods. If you are also importing non-exempted goods, then a licence is required.
Synthetic greenhouse gases destroyed in the manufacturing process
If a synthetic greenhouse gas is used in the manufacture of a product and the gas is destroyed during or immediately after the manufacturing process, you may not need to apply for a licence. However, a written notice from the Minister or delegate is required in these circumstances. Please contact the Import Operations Team for further information.
If you are importing or manufacturing an ozone depleting substance or synthetic greenhouse gas for use as a feedstock, you may not need to apply for a licence. The Act defines feedstock 'as an intermediate substance which is used to manufacture other chemicals'. Please note that reporting obligations still apply. Please contact the Import Operations Team for further information.
Synthetic greenhouse gases used in the production of aluminium
If a synthetic greenhouse gas forms as a by-product of aluminium manufacture you may not need to apply for a licence. Please contact the Import Operations Team for further information.
Synthetic greenhouse gases used in the production or casting of magnesium
If you are importing or manufacturing synthetic greenhouse gas for use in the production or casting of magnesium you may not need to apply for a licence. Please contact the Import Operations Team for further information.