Exemption under Section 40

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 prohibits the import or manufacture of products listed in Schedule 4 of the Act that contain or use a specified ozone depleting substance unless the Minister grants an exemption under Section 40 of the Act.

List of products under Schedule 4 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989

The following products are listed in Schedule 4 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989:

  • dry cleaning machinery
  • automotive airconditioning maintenance kits
  • extruded polystyrene packaging and insulation
  • aerosol products
  • products containing halon
  • rigid polyurethane foam products
  • moulded polyurethane foam
  • disposable containers of refrigerants, and
  • refrigeration and airconditioning equipment if:
    • the equipment is charged with a CFC refrigerant
    • the equipment may only operate by using only a CFC refrigerant or a HCFC refrigerant, or either a CFC refrigerant or a HCFC refrigerant, or
    • the equipment is insulated with foam manufactured with a CFC or a HCFC.

Section 40 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 allows for a person to apply to the Minister for an exemption from this prohibition where:

  • the product is essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, and
  • no practical alternative exists to the use of scheduled substances in the operation or manufacture of the product if it is to continue to be effective for such a purpose.

OR

  • there is no practical alternative to the use of scheduled substances in the operation or manufacture of the product because of the requirements of law concerning the manufacture or use of the product.

OR

  • the product is for use in conjunction with the calibration of scientific, measuring or safety equipment.

Only a very limited range of products meet these criteria listed above. One example of a product that may meet the criteria is a halon fire suppression system aboard an aircraft.

The department examines applications made for exemptions under Section 40 very carefully, with reference to Montreal Protocol guidelines, before submitting the application to the Minister for consideration.

How to apply

Applications should be lodged as early as possible, prior to the proposed goods being imported or manufactured.

Normally, the department will aim to process applications within 2 weeks of receiving a fully completed application form that includes all supporting documentation and payment of the licence fee. However, the statutory timeframes of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 stipulates that the department may take up to 60 days to process an application. You will need to keep the full 60 day processing time in mind when applying for a licence, as processing times do vary.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of $3,000 is payable with the application unless a waiver has been granted. There is no provision in the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 or the Regulations that gives the Minister or his/her delegate the power to refund the application fee.

Please note: this includes situations where an applicant has lodged an application and then no longer requires it.

The Minister may waive the fee if satisfied that the exemption is to enable the import of a product for its disposal, and the disposal will be carried out by a technology approved by the parties of the Montreal Protocol.

Required information and supporting documentation

When applying for a licence or Section 40 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.

Online application form

S40 Exemption Application Form

The duration of an Exemption granted under Section 40 is considered on application and is generally granted for a two year period, unless the applicant specifies a shorter time period, or the Minister deems a shorter timeframe is more appropriate. The Minister may, by written notice given to the holder of the exemption, cancel the exemption if there has been a contravention of any conditions to which the exemption is subject.

Quarterly reporting requirements

Holders of Section 40 exemptions are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister on the number of units and the amount of scheduled substance contained in each product imported into Australia under the exemption.

If no imports 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.

Online reporting form

S40 Exemptions Quarterly Reporting Form

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 Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.