Customs Brokers Guide

Training information

Training for Customs Brokers will be available from CBFCA, including modules in the National Customs Broker Training Course and Continuing Professional Development.

News on training will be available on this webpage and the CBFCA training webpage.

Please print this (in colour if possible) to prepare for the CBFCA training.

Key facts to remember

  1. Importers must hold the correct licence or exemption to import regulated items, or be able to provide evidence their goods are exempt from the controls,.
  2. Imports of substances controlled under the ‘Ozone & SGG Act’, and equipment containing or designed to use these substances, are managed by the Department of the Environment and Australian Customs to minimise their impact on the atmosphere.
  3. For extensive information on importing and exporting goods covered by this Act. see the Department of the Environment website at
  4. Brokers cannot hold a licence to import items on behalf of a client. Brokers will require the importer’s licence information to process the import.
  5. Importers should check import requirements before importing goods and allow adequate time to apply for a licence if one is required.
  6. Regulated substances and equipment imported without a licence may be seized and importers may be liable to penalties and prosecution.
  7. Licence processing typically takes 14 days, but may take up to 60 days! Contact with the Department of the Environment is recommended
  8. Licence application fees cannot be refunded even if it is later found that a licence is not required. The importer must apply for the correct licence or exemption.
  9. Import documentation must be complete, correct and must be in English.
  10. Customs brokers must be able to produce documentary evidence on request to justirfy all decisions relevant to the Act.


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A. List of controlled substances

Regulated substances are listed in Schedule 1 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

B. Questions to ask the importer - to help clarify Q1

This information is designed to help Customs Brokers identify potential licensing requirements or exemptions for imports and exports of goods regulated particularly where the importer answers ‘don’t know’ to Question 1 on the flowchart, ie ‘Does the import contain a controlled substance or equipment designed to use a controlled substance [under the Ozone and SGG Act]?

C. Degassing and retrofitting

D. Exemptions

Section 40 exemptions

Other exemptions

There are a small number of exemptions for specific circumstances which are very limited in scope - see Information on Exemptions.

Information on personal use imports, re-imports and other scenarios is available in Importing vehicles, boats, caravans or any other equipment that may contain refrigerant gas into Australia

Please contact the Department at or by telephone at (02) 6274 1373 if you believe you may be eligible for an exemption from licensing.

E. Criteria where no licence is required

You may not need a licence for:

  • ODS/SGG equipment that has been degassed, but you will need to be able to provide satisfactory documentation to establish that the equipment has been degassed. Refer to C at Resources in
  • ODS/SGG equipment owned for private or domestic use in the country of export for 12 months or more (personal use). Further information is available in Scenario 1
  • Specified medical, vet and other equipment- (eg asthma puffers etc, no licence required)
  • Equipment using non-regulated gases (eg alternative refrigerants, not on Schedule 1)
  • Specified cylinders of gas in aircraft and ships that meets requirements of section 12B of the Ozone and SGG Act regarding servicing.
  • Temporary imports or re-imported goods. Further Information on Exemptions

F. Licence requirements


Montreal Protocol countries

Register of Montreal Protocol countries

NOTE: These countries are not on the register - Kazakhstan, Libya, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia.