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.

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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 - application fee

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.

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.

Required information and supporting documentation

When applying for a licence or 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 ODS).

A summary of the information you will need to complete the application form, and a list of supporting documentation you must submit with your application, is provided below.

Summary information about Exemptions under Section 40

Apply for this exemption if you plan on importing, exporting or manufacturing products listed in Schedule 4 of the Act.

Please note: unless you are applying for a waiver of the application fee, assessment of applications will not commence until the full, cleared payment of application fee of $3,000 is received by the department. Application fees are non-refundable. There is no provision in the Act nor the Regulations that gives the Minister or his delegate the power to refund the licence fee paid as part of a licence application that an applicant subsequently does not require.

You will need the following information on hand to fill the application form

  • Personal/Company details – the legally recognised name of the entity applying for the licence. In the case of organisations, the legal name must match the name registered on the Australian Business Register website
  • The current ABN (if an organisation)
  • Street and Postal Address
  • The name and contact details of the applicant (if an individual) or authorised person (if an organisation) signing the application form
  • The name and contact details of a contact person who will be responsible for submitting reports to the department on a quarterly basis
  • The name and contact details of a contact person who will be responsible for handling accounts enquiries from the department.
  • Details about the proposed activity (import, export or manufacture), including:
    • The product type (e.g. dry cleaning machinery, etc)
    • The product description, including product name, make and model
    • The type of substance contained within the product (e.g. halon, etc) being imported, exported or manufactured.
    • The amount of substance (in bulk or contained within each product) in grams or kilograms
    • The number of units
    • Approximate dates the product is expected to arrive in Australia (if an import)
    • Country of origin or country of destination
    • Detailed information describing the grounds on which the Exemption under Section 40 is being sought. The Minister can grant an Exemption where:
      1. 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 it is to continue to be effective for such a purpose.

      OR

      1. 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

      1. The product is for use in the calibration of scientific, measuring or safety equipment.
  • If you answer YES to any of the questions under the Suitability Questionnaire you will need to provide details outlining the circumstances under which the event(s) occurred.

Required supporting documentation to accompany the application form

  • A copy of the Certified Identification of the person signing the application form (for organisations, the person signing the application form must be the director or someone in the organisation who has the authority to sign on behalf of the director(s). Please refer to the list of people able to certify documents in the Statutory Declaration Regulations 1993).
  • If a TRUST, a copy of the deed confirming person signing the application has the authority to sign on behalf of other trustees.
  • If a PARTNERSHIP, you must supply a document that shows authority to sign and submit this licence application on behalf of the other partners.
  • Customs import/export documentation (if available)
  • Supporting documentation confirming the basis on which the Exemption is sought. If you are seeking the Exemption on the grounds that:
    1. 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 it is to continue to be effective for such a purpose. (attach documentary evidence confirming equipment’s essential use and include research results confirming that there are no practical alternatives in the market).

    OR

    1. 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 (attach extract(s) of the section(s) of the relevant law/piece of legislation concerned)

    OR

    1. The product is for use in the calibration of scientific, measuring or safety equipment (attach extracts of technical manuals of the scientific/ safety equipment confirming that it can only be calibrated using the specified controlled substance).
  • If you are applying for a fee waiver – supporting documentation confirming that the exemption will be used for the import of a product is for its disposal (you must include the details of the destruction facility).

Who can use the licence

It is a condition of all licences that the licensee does not allow another person or business to use their licence number.

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.

Updating contact details

If you want to change the nominated contact details please use our online request form:

Contact for more information

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