Ozone Depleting Substance/Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Equipment Licences (EQPL)

Australia bans the import of HCFC pre-charged airconditioners
Since 18 May 2011 , the import of most airconditioning equipment containing HCFC or designed to operate on HCFCs have been denied entry unless the equipment is exempt under the Regulations.

Do you need an ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL)?

An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is required if an entity wishes to import equipment that contains ozone depleting substances or synthetic greenhouse gasses into Australia , including refrigeration and/or airconditioning equipment that contains a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant. HFCs and HCFCs are damaging to the environment as they are ozone depleting substances (ODSs) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs).

An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) may be required even if the airconditioner or refrigeration equipment is incorporated into another object, e.g. a car, caravan, or another vehicle (including earth moving equipment). It is an offence under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 to import ODS/SGG equipment without a licence.

Note: Medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices that use Synthetic Greenhouse Gases may now be exempt from licensing and levy requirements under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

Importers who import a mix of exempted and non exempted items are required to hold the appropriate licence and to report on/pay levies for the non-exempted items.

Importers are strongly advised to contact the Import Operations Team at ozone@environment.gov.au or by calling 02 6274 1373, to discuss the exemption prior to the importation of the items and before payment of the non-refundable licence application fee.

Do you qualify for an ODS/SGG licence (LVIL) for a one-off, low volume import?

One-off importers planning to import up to five pieces of equipment arriving in one consignment and containing less than 10Kg of gas in total may be eligible for a partial waiver of the licence application fee. The partial waiver reduces the application fee from $3000 to $400, with the licence expiring fourteen days after the equipment arrives OR fourteen days after the issue of the licence, whichever is the latest. A partial fee waiver is only available once every two years.

There is no provision in the Act or the Regulations that gives the Minister or his/her delegate the power to refund the licence application fee.

Frequently asked questions

For more information about whether an ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is needed in your circumstances see:

Expiry date of EQPL

Since 18 May 2011, when amendments to the Act came into force, all regular ODS/SGG equipment licences (EQPL) that were granted on and after that date generally expire two years from the date on which the licence is granted, unless a shorter date is specified.

ODS/SGG equipment licences for one-off, low volume imports (LVIL) that qualify for a partial fee waiver expire fourteen days after the equipment arrives OR fourteen days after the issue of the licence, whichever is the latest.

How to apply

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

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 Act 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.

Licence application fee

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

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

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 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.

Please note that a trust is not a legal entity - a licence or exemption cannot be issued in the name of a trust. If you are submitting an application for an organisation registered as a trust, you must make the application in the name of the trustee of the trust (e.g.”Joe Blogs as Trustee for the ABC Trust” or  XYZ Pty Ltd as the Trustee for ABC Trust”) and supply the Department with a copy of the Trust Deed.

Important: If the trustee is a company, the application must be made using the ABN of the trustee. The ABN of the trustee may be different from the ABN of the company acting as the trustee.

Online application form

ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) application form

Quarterly reporting and levy requirements

Holders of an ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister showing the type and quantity of substances imported within that equipment. Licensees then need to pay levies based on the type and amount of scheduled substances imported.

The Import Levy is a cost recovery levy which applies to ODSs and is $3000 per ozone depleting potential tonne.

A cost recovery or "prescribed rate" component also applies to SGGs, however for these gases the amount is $165 per metric tonne. In addition, the carbon charge component applies to SGGs and is based on the carbon price and the global warming potential for each gas.

All fees collected, including late fees, are collected on behalf of the Commonwealth and are not subject to GST.

For further explanation on calculating the equivalent carbon price on synthetic greenhouse gases, please see www.environment.gov.au/equivalentcarbonprice

If no imports or exports 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 Levy payment due by
1 January – 31 March 14 April 30 May
1 April – 30 June 14 July 29 August
1 July – 30 September 14 October 29 November
1 October – 31 December 14 January 1 March

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

Report imports of ODS and/or SGG Equipment

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 Act.

If you have any questions about reporting you may contact the Reporting Officer on +61 2 6274 1373.

Transferring a licence

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

If you can identify a current licence holder (Transferor) who wishes to transfer their licence to you (Transferee), a joint application for a transfer of a licence from the current licence holder to another person can be made. The department will not impose any application fee on you to complete the transfer although the new licensee (the Transferee) will still be required to pay the licence levies and report on a quarterly basis.

For further information please contact the Licensing Officer on +61 2 6274 1373 or ozone@environment.gov.au.

Joint application to transfer a licence

More information

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