Australia bans import of HCFC refrigeration and air conditioning equipment

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 bans the manufacture or import of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment if the equipment is charged with CFC or HCFC. Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment insulated with foam manufactured with a CFC or HCFC is also banned.

The ban on HCFC refrigeration and air conditioning equipment was recently amended by the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Act 2014. Equipment that is designed to operate by using HFCs but that may also operate using HCFCs or CFCs will no longer be banned. Equipment that is designed to operate by using only HCFCs or CFCs will remain banned.

The import and manufacture of equipment containing HCFC or designed to operate on HCFCs has been prohibited unless exempted under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995. The current exemption, which expires at 30 June 2015 applies to:

  1. HCFC pre-charged refrigeration equipment;
  2. HCFC pre-charged airconditioning equipment import by the holder of a pre-charged equipment licence who has been granted a partial fee waiver for a one-off low volume import;
  3. chillers charged with HCFC-123;
  4. replacement parts for existing HCFC air conditioning equipment. Replacement parts do not include a complete or substantially complete, indoor or outdoor unit of a split system air conditioner;
  5. components for existing high static ducted split system air conditioners;
  6. equipment insulated with foam manufactured with HCFC;
  7. equipment for which the Minister considers it is impracticable:
    • i) for the importer or licence holder to comply with the ban; and
    • ii) to remove or retrofit the equipment because it is incidental to the main import.

For example, 7(ii) would apply to air conditioning equipment incorporated into a large boat or drilling rig.

If you believe the equipment you are proposing to import may fall under criteria 7 (i) or 7 (ii), above, please contact the Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team on +61 2 6274 1373 or + 61 2 6274 1237 so you can obtain details of how to seek an exemption from the Minister.

For more information on pre-charged equipment and about obtaining a licence visit Ozone Depleting Substance/Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Equipment Licences (EQPL) or contact the Import Operations Team on +61 2 6274 1373 or ozone@environment.gov.au