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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2002-03

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISSN 1441 9335

Reports - Operation of the Ozone Protection Act 1989

This annual report is prepared in accordance with section 68 of the Ozone Protection Act 1989, and covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 2002 until 30 June 2003.

The main purpose of the Act is to implement the provisions of the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

In 2002-03, the Department and the Australian Greenhouse Office jointly prepared the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation Amendment Bill 2003, which will ensure that Australia has a truly national regulatory scheme for the management of ozone-depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases used as their replacements. The changes will reinforce Australia's position as an international leader on actions to restore the earth's ozone layer. The Bill, which amends the Ozone Protection Act, was introduced into Parliament on 5 June 2003.

For 2002-03 the main elements of the control system under the Ozone Protection Act were:

As a result of the administration of the Ozone Protection Act and working constructively with industry, in 2002-03 there was a reduction of 74.52 ozone-depleting potential tonnes (ODP tonnes) in the amount of ozone-depleting substances imported into Australia: 562.83 ODP tonnes, compared with 637.35 ODP tonnes in 2001-02. (Ozone-depleting potential tonnes equal metric tonnes multiplied by the capacity of a particular chemical to destroy the ozone layer.)

Montreal Protocol

In March 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was agreed. Following agreement that concrete measures were required to curb the increasing use of ozone-depleting substances, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was finalised in September 1987. The Montreal Protocol aims to promote international cooperation in developing and implementing specific measures to control the consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances. The protocol was amended in 1990, 1992, 1995 and 1997.

Australia ratified the Montreal Protocol in May 1989. As at 23 June 2003 there were 185 parties to the Vienna Convention and 184 parties to the Montreal Protocol. The original Montreal Protocol set limits on controlled substances but did not require their total elimination by any specific date. Subsequent reviews of the protocol established tighter controls on all ozone-depleting substances and added to the list of controlled substances. A summary of the Montreal Protocol control measures on ozone-depleting substances is set out in the following table:

Summary of the Montreal Protocol control measures
Ozone-depleting substances Developed countries Developing countries
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Phased out end of 1995a Total phase-out by 2010
Halons Phased out end of 1993 Total phase-out by 2010
Carbon tetrachloride Phased out end of 1995a Total phase-out by 2010
Methyl chloroform Phased out end of 1995a Total phase-out by 2015
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) Freeze from beginning of 1996b Freeze in 2016 at 2015 base level
  35 per cent reduction by 2004  
  65 per cent reduction by 2010  
  90 per cent reduction by 2015  
  Total phase-out by 2020c  Total phase-out by 2040
Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) Phased out end of 1995 Phased out end of 1995
Methyl bromide Freeze in 1995 at 1991 base level d Freeze in 2002 at average 1995-1998
  25 per cent reduction by 1999 base level
  50 per cent reduction by 2001 20 per cent reduction by 2005e
  70 per cent reduction by 2003  
  Total phase-out by 2005f Total phase-out by 2015
Bromochloromethane (BCM) Phased out by 2002 Phased out by 2002
a. An exception is made for a very small number of internationally agreed essential uses that are considered critical to human health and/or laboratory and analytical procedures.
b. This is based on 1989 HCFCs consumption with an extra allowance (ODP-weighted) equal to 2.8 per cent of 1989 CFC consumption.
c. Up to 0.5 per cent of base level consumption can be used until 2030 for servicing existing equipment.
d. All reductions include an exemption for pre-shipment and quarantine uses.
e. This will be reviewed in 2003 to decide on interim further reductions beyond 2005.
f. The protocol allows for 'critical use exemptions' to be granted from the methyl bromide phase-out where end users meet certain strict criteria, and where they can demonstrate that viable alternatives will not be available to them by 2005.

Operation of the Ozone Protection Act

The Ozone Protection Act:

The Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Act 1995:

The Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Manufacture) Act 1995:

Reform of the Ozone Protection Act

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 implements recommendations from the Review of the Commonwealth's Ozone Protection Legislation (2001).

The Bill amends the Ozone Protection Act by:

Enforcement

The rigorous enforcement of the Ozone Protection Act continued to be a high priority. In 2002-03 the Department dealt with 21 alleged breaches of the Act.

Licences and exemptions

The Ozone Protection Act controls the manufacture, import and export of ozone-depleting substances in Australia, specifically CFCs; halon 1211, 1301 and 2402; carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform; hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs); HCFCs; and methyl bromide.

The import, export and manufacture of these substances, and import and manufacture of certain products containing or designed to contain some of these substances, are prohibited in Australia unless the correct licence or exemption is held. There are three types of licence: controlled substance; essential use; and used substance. There is one type of exemption: section 40.

Controlled substance and used substance licences are granted for a two-year period and stay in force until the end of the licensing period in which they are granted. The current licensing period ends on 31 December 2003.

Essential use licences and exemptions are granted for a one-year period and stay in force until the end of the period in which they are granted, which for the purpose of this report is 31 December 2003.

Controlled substance licences

Controlled substance licences are used to manage the import, export and manufacture of HCFCs and methyl bromide. These substances are controlled through the Ozone Protection Act, the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958.

HCFCs licences

Australia's annual importation of HCFCs was frozen at 250 ODP tonnes from 1 January 1996. In accordance with the Ozone Protection Act this figure was reduced to 190 ODP tonnes for each of the calendar years in the current licensing period.

The current importation amount is about 35 per cent of the HCFC quantity allowed under the Montreal Protocol limits.

As at 30 June 2003 eight controlled substance licences for HCFCs were in force.

Methyl bromide licences

Except for use in quarantine and pre-shipment applications, methyl bromide is subject to phase-out under the Montreal Protocol. Consequently, Australia's annual importation of methyl bromide for purposes other than non-quarantine and pre-shipment uses was frozen at 407.4 ODP tonnes from 1 January 1995 through quotas imposed on controlled substance licences granted under the Ozone Protection Act. These quotas were reduced to 203.7 and 122.2 ODP tonnes for the calendar years 2002 and 2003 respectively.

The quotas are 100 per cent of the methyl bromide quantity allowed under the Montreal Protocol limits.

As at 30 June 2003 five controlled substance licences for methyl bromide were in force.

Essential use licences

Since 1996, the Ozone Protection Act has prohibited the import, export and manufacture of CFCs, halons, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride without an essential use licence. Such licences are only granted for a strictly limited range of essential uses approved by the parties to the Montreal Protocol.

As at 30 June 2003 one essential use licence was in force for the import of CFCs for the manufacture of metered-dose inhalers for asthma treatment, representing ten ODP tonnes for the 2003 calendar year.

Used substance licences

Since 1996, the Ozone Protection Act has prohibited the import and export of used or recycled CFCs, halon, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform without a used substance licence.

As at 30 June 2003 one used substance licence was in force for the import of CFCs, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride for destruction and for the import of halon for recycling prior to export, or for destruction.

Exemptions

Section 40 of the Ozone Protection Act allows exemptions from the Act's prohibition on the import and manufacture of certain products containing or designed to contain certain ozone-depleting substances (listed in schedule 4 of the Act). The Minister may grant exemptions where the products are essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, and where no practical alternatives are available. Exemptions do not attract a fee.

From 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 six exemptions were granted allowing three pharmaceutical companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers containing CFCs for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and three exemptions were granted allowing airlines to import aircraft fire extinguishers containing halon.

Licence and activity fees

The Ozone Protection Act provides for licence application fees to be levied. Licence fees are set at the following amounts:

Type of licence
Fee
Controlled substances (HCFCs and methyl bromide) $10 000 per licence period
Essential uses $2000 per licence period
Used substances $10 000 per licence period

Activity fees on import and manufacturing activity under a controlled substance licence are levied each quarter under the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Act and the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Manufacture) Act according to the quantity and ozone-depletion potential of HCFCs imported or manufactured, or the quantity of methyl bromide imported or manufactured. Australia has not manufactured ozone-depleting substances since 1996.

Activity fees are set at the following amounts:

Licensed activity
Fee
HCFCs import $2000 per ODP tonne
Methyl bromide import $90 per metric tonnea
a. One metric tonne of methyl bromide equals 0.6 ODP tonne.

Licence and activity fees are set at the level estimated to be the cost to the Commonwealth of administering the ozone protection legislation and management programs associated with the phase-out of HCFCS and methyl bromide. These fees are held in the Ozone Protection Reserve.

Ozone Protection Reserve

The Ozone Protection Reserve was established by the 1995 amendments to the Ozone Protection Act. The purpose of the reserve is to reimburse the Commonwealth for the costs associated with:

An industry advisory body was established in June 1997 to advise the Minister on priorities for expenditure from the reserve. The committee was reformed as the Ozone Reserve Advisory Committee in 2000. Membership appointments expired on 31 December 2001, to allow for possible changes to the legislation and reserve arrangements that could arise out of the legislative review report.

The following projects received funding during 2002-03:

Projects funded from the Ozone Protection Reserve 2002-03
Approved projects
Total project budget ($)a
Ozone Protection Reserve expenditure ($)b
Workshops on integrated pest management as methyl bromide alternative for soil fumigation in regional fruit and vegetable productionc
$12 630
$12 630
Trialing of methyl bromide alternatives for quarantine and pre-shipment treatment of export hay
$65 480
$48 021
Production of the 6th edition Refrigerant Selection Guide, to inform industry on the range of refrigerants available for use in Australia including HCFC alternativesc
$78 000
$78 000
Development of an environmental rating scheme for air conditioning and refrigeration systems using life-cycle assessment methodology, to raise awareness in industry and government and confirm comparative operating efficiencies
$165 400
$77 550
 
 
 
Total
$321 510
$216 201
a. Total project budget is the amount funded from the Ozone Protection Reserve (excludes GST).
b. Ozone Protection Reserve expenditure (excludes GST) is the amount the project received from the reserve during 2002-03.
c. These projects were completed during 2002-03.

No new projects were approved for funding under the Ozone Protection Reserve in 2002-03.

Cost recovery

The Ozone Protection Act provides for full cost recovery from licence and activity fees. The fees received during 2002-03 were as follows:

Ozone Protection Reserve receipts and expenditure 2002-03
Licence or activity
Amount received ($)
Reserve
Receipts
Controlled substance licence fees:
  • HCFCs licence fees
  • Methyl bromide licence fees



nil
$10 000
Essential use licence fees
$2 000
Used substance licence fees
Nil
Activity feesa:
  • HCFCs
  • Methyl bromide



$351 775
$62 580
Total
$426 355
 
 
Reserve
Expenditure
Grants
$216,201
Administration
$14 512
Salariesb
$171 520
Total
$402 233
a. These figures include activity fees relating to 2001-02 that were deposited in 2002-03.
b. Government approval was given for the reimbursement of the salaries of three staff from the Ozone Protection Reserve. The Department was reimbursed for the cost of one year's salaries of three ozone protection officers employed during the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.

Freedom of information

No requests were received under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

No applications under section 66 of the Act, for review of a decision made by the Minister, were received by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.