Ozone Depleting Substance/Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Equipment Licences (EQPL)
An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is required if an entity wishes to import refrigeration and air conditioning equipment that contains a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) or equipment that contains synthetic greenhouse gases into Australia, unless an exemption applies.
An ODS/SGG equipment licence covers products or equipment such as refrigerators or cars with air conditioners which already have gas in them.
- See our Frequently asked questions for more information about products and equipment
BULK GASES: This licence does not cover gases in containers, such as cylinders, called “bulk” gases. If you are importing bulk gas you should consider applying for a controlled substance licence instead.
Australia bans the import of HCFC refrigeration and air conditioning equipment
The import of most air conditioning equipment containing HCFC or CFC or designed to operate on HCFCs or CFCs is prohibited except in a small number of cases where the equipment is exempted under the Regulations.
Click on the headings below to find out more information.
An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is required if an entity wishes to import refrigeration and air conditioning equipment that contains a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), or equipment that contains hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC) or sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
An ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) may be required even if the equipment, such as an air conditioner or refrigerator, 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.
In some circumstances, an EQPL licence may not be required. These circumstances are:
- where the equipment has been degassed prior to being imported and the importer has documentary evidence to confirm this.
- where an exemption from licensing requirements applies (e.g. a low volume import exemption).
Please check if your importing activity is eligible for an exemption before applying for a licence.
To discuss whether an exemption may apply please contact the Import Operations Section prior to the importation of the items and before payment of the non-refundable licence application fee.
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. This includes situations where an applicant has lodged a licence application and then no longer requires a licence.
For more information about whether an ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) is needed in your circumstances see:
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. Please note that the statutory timeframes of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 stipulate 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. There is no provision in either the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 or the Regulations that gives the Minister or his delegate the power to refund the licence application fee.
Please note that the licence fee is non-refundable even in situations where an applicant has lodged a licence application and then no longer requires it.
Expiry date of EQPL
ODS/SGG equipment licences (EQPL) generally expire two years from the date on which the licence comes into force, unless a shorter date is specified.
Online application form
ODS/SGG equipment licence (EQPL) application form
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.
When applying for a licence or exemption under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 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 that you will need to complete the application form, along with a list of supporting documentation you must submit with your application is provided below.
Summary information about EQPL
- Apply for this licence type if you will be regularly importing equipment that contains Ozone Depleting Substances or Synthetic Greenhouse Gases.
- Please note that an ODS/SGG equipment licence is not required if you are importing no more than 5 pieces of equipment containing less than 10 kg in total of HCF, HFC, PFC or SF6 in a single consignment. This low volume import exemption can only be used once in a two year period. .
- Please note: that airconditioning and refrigeration equipment designed to operate on Hydrocarbons, also known as ‘natural refrigerants’ (e.g. Ammonia (R717)) do not trigger the licence requirements under the Ozone Act. An exemption may apply for vehicles or other equipment imported for personal use that have been owned for more than twelve months. For more information please contact the Import Operations Section on:
Phone: +61 2 6274 1373
- Importing vehicles, boats, caravans or any other equipment that may contain refrigerant gas into Australia
Application fees are non-refundable. The application fee for an EQPL licence is $3000. 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/Organisation 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.
- The details of the goods you intend to import, including:
- Approximate dates for when the goods are expected to arrive in Australia.
- The product name, make and model
- Product category
- Type of refrigerant contained in the equipment
- Charge size (the amount of refrigerant contained within each piece of equipment) in grams
- The number of individual units
- The total amount of refrigerant (in grams)
- 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).
- A copy of the purchase invoice or receipt for the goods being imported
- Documentation confirming membership with an approved Product Stewardship Scheme, if one exists.
- 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.
It is a condition of all licences that the licensee does not allow another person or business to use their licence number.
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/Manufacture Levy is a cost recovery levy. For ODSs it is $3000 per ozone depleting potential tonne and for SGGs it is $165 per metric tonne.
All fees collected, including late fees, are collected on behalf of the Commonwealth and are not subject to GST.
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.
* Note: In a leap year 60 days will be 29 February
Online reporting form
Report imports of ODS and/or SGG Equipment
- Form 1: Report equipment - Report imports of ODS and/or SGG Equipment (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 Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.
If you have any questions about reporting you may contact the Import Operations Section at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 6274 1373.
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