Used Substances Licences

The import and export of used or recycled Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halons, Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), Methyl chloroform (C2H3Cl3), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) Methyl Bromide (CH3Br) and Bromochlorometahne (CH2BrCl) is prohibited under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act), unless the person holds a used substances licence that allows the person to do so.

Important notice: Please note that the movement of used Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) between countries may trigger the Basel Convention, implemented in Australia through the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Imports and Exports) Act 1989. Australia deems that ODS are specifically managed under the Ozone Act so action under the Hazardous Waste Act is not required, unless the other participating country invokes the Basel Convention. France, for example, considers that the movement of ODS trigger the Basel Convention. Other countries, such as the United States, are not party to the Basel Convention but may have their own specific requirements for movement of hazardous substances. You may be required to apply for a licence under the Hazardous Waste Act when applying for a Used Substances Licence if the import or export country invokes the Basel Convention. For further information please refer to:

Important Notice: Applications for a Used Substances Licence for the purpose of import for domestic reuse will generally not be granted. The department has recently formalised it's policy on used Ozone Depleting Substances, please see the following link for the full policy document:

Application fee

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

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

  • The scheduled substance to which the licence relates will be imported or exported for the purpose of the disposal of the substance; and
  • The disposal will be carried out by a technology approved by the parties of the Montreal Protocol.

Required information and supporting documentation

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.

How to apply

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

Normally, the department will aim to process applications within 2 weeks of receiving a fully completed application form including all supporting documentation and payment of the licence fee. However, the statutory timeframes of the Act stipulates that department may take up to 60 days to process an application.

Used Substances Licence application form

In granting a licence, the Minister will consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person. Section 16 of the Act lists matters the Minister must consider when making this decision.

A used substances licence comes into force on the day specified in it and stays in force until the end of the licence period in which it is granted, or any shorter period specified in it, unless it is cancelled or stops being in force for any other reason, before then.

The current licence period commenced on 1 January 2012 and ends on 31 December 2013.

Quarterly reporting requirements

Holders of a used substances licence are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister on the following, including the use to which the substances are put:

  • The type and quantity of substances imported, including country of origin
  • the type and quantity of substances exported, including country of destination, and
  • the quantity of substances manufactured, recycled or destroyed.

Reports may be lodged at any time before the 15th day following the end of each reporting period (including at any time during the relevant reporting period).

If no imports or exports were made during a reporting period, a 'nil' report is still required.

Reporting Period Reports Due
1 January – 31 March 15 April
1 April – 30 June 15 July
1 July – 30 September 15 October
1 October – 31 December 15 January

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.

If you have any questions about reporting you may contact the Reporting Officer on +61 2 6274 1373.

More information

For more information please contact the Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team on:
Phone: +61 2 6274 1373
Email: ozone@environment.gov.au