Controlled Substances Licence to import Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (SGGs) - HFCs, PFCs and/or SF6

It is an offence under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 to import, export and manufacture hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and/or sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) without a controlled substance licence for SGGs unless an exemption applies.

A controlled substance licence for SGGs covers “bulk” gases. Bulk gases are gases in containers, such as cylinders. It does not cover products or equipment such as refrigerators or car air conditioners which already have gas in them. If you are importing equipment or products containing SGGs you should consider applying for an Ozone Depleting Substance/Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Equipment Licence (EQPL) instead.

If you are unsure of which licence to apply for, please contact the Import Operations Section at ozone@environment.gov.au or 02 6274 1373

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How to apply - application fee

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

The Department aims to process applications within 2 weeks of receiving a fully completed application form including 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.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of $15,000 is payable with an application for a bulk licence unless a waiver has been granted. 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.

The Minister may waive the application fee for a controlled substances licence if:

  • the licence is applied for to allow the manufacture, import or export of less than half a tonne of a scheduled substance; and
  • the Minister is satisfied that the import, export or manufacture is for test purposes.

Note: if you are applying to import, manufacture or export both SGGs AND HCFCs, a non-refundable application fee of $30,000 applies as two licences are required.

Note: Medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices that use synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) 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 Section 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.

In granting a licence, the Minister will consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person. Section 16 of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 lists matters that the Minister must take into consideration when making this decision.

A controlled substances licence for synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) comes into force on the day specified on the licence and stays in force until the end of the licence period in which it is granted, unless it is cancelled or stops being in force for any other reason prior to the date.

The current licence period commenced on 1 January 2014 and ends on 31 December 2015. The next licence period will commence on 1 January 2016 and cease on 31 December 2017.

Required information and supporting documentation

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 Controlled Substances Licences for SGGs

Apply for this licence if you wish to import, export or manufacture hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs), also known as Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (SGGs).

Please note: unless you are applying for a waiver of the application fee, assessment of applications will not commence until the full application fee of $15,000 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 of SGGs), including country of origin or country of destination
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • If you are applying for a fee waiver – supporting documentary evidence that the import/export is for test purposes and the amount is less than ½ tonne.

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 and levy requirements

Holders of an SGG controlled substances licence are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister showing the type and quantity of SGGs manufactured, imported, and/or exported.

Based on the quantity of SGG manufactured and/or imported, licensees are required to pay a levy at the end of each reporting period. The Import/Manufacture Levy is a cost recovery levy and is $165 per metric tonne.

If no imports, exports or manufacture occurred 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).

The Import/Manufacture Levy is payable by the 60th calendar day following the end of the current reporting period (see table below).

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

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.

Controlled Substances Quarterly Reporting Forms

If you have any questions about reporting you may contact the Import Operations Section at ozone@environment.gov.au or +61 2 6274 1373.

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