The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) 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 .
The following products are listed in Schedule 4 of the Act:
- 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 a CFC refrigerant, or
- the equipment is insulated with foam manufactured with a CFC.
Section 40 of the Act 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
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 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.
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 Act 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.
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.
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.
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
- Form 7: S40E reporting - Report imports of products exempted under Section 40 (including Nil report)
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.
For more information please contact the Import Licensing Team on:
Phone: +61 2 6274 1373
Licences and reporting
- EQPL and LVIL
- Controlled substances licences
- Essential Uses
- Used Substances
Importing into Australia
Importing a car, boat, caravan or fridge into Australia?
A licence may be required.