HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbon) Controlled Substances Licence

 

Equivalent carbon price for synthetic greenhouse gases
From 1 July 2012, an equivalent carbon price was applied to certain synthetic greenhouse gases - hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons (excluding gases produced from aluminium smelting) and sulfur hexafluoride (including equipment or products which contain these gases).

There are provisions for exemptions from the equivalent carbon price, some exemptions are currently in place and others are coming into effect soon.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are ozone depleting substances (ODS). The import, export and manufacture of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) is controlled under Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) since 1996.

A controlled substances licence is required to manufacture HCFCs and for the import and export of any amount of HCFC that is not contained in products or equipment.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of $15,000 is payable on 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 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.

Applications may take up to 8 weeks to process.

*Note: if you are applying to import, manufacture or export HCFCs AND Synthetic Greenhouse Gases (HFCs, PFCs and/or SF6) a non-refundable $30,000 application fee applies.

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

IMPORTANT NOTICE: To import or manufacture HCFCs, sufficient HCFC quota is also required. The maximum amount of quota that can be allocated is determined by the annual HCFC industry limit and the individual use of quota in part of the previous licence period. We strongly encourage you to call the Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team on +61 2 6274 1373 before applying for a HCFC controlled substance licence, so we can advise you whether the amount of quota for the current calendar year has already expired, thus preventing you from submitting the application form and paying the non-refundable fee. 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.

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.

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

In granting a licence, the Minister will consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person. Section 16 of the Act lists matters to which the Minister may have regard in making this decision.

A controlled substances licence for HCFCs comes into force on the day specified on it 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, before then.

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

HCFC Phase-out Schedule

HCFCs are being phased out globally under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Australia has adopted a gradual phase-down of HCFCs. The level of permitted imports decreases every two years, as specified in the table below.

Year Annual import limit (ODP tonnes*)
2012, 2013 40
2014, 2015 10
2016 – 2029 2.5
2030 0

*1 ODP tonne equates to 9 metric tonnes of HCFC-141b or 18 tonnes of HCFC-22

 

Transferring a licence

It is a condition of all licences that the licensee does not allow another person or business to use their licence number.

If you can identify a current licence holder (Transferor) who wishes to transfer their licence to you (Transferee), a joint application for a transfer of a licence from the current licence holder to another person can be made. The department will not impose any application fee on you to complete the transfer although the new licensee (the Transferee) will still be required to pay the licence levies and report on a quarterly basis.

Note: the current holder of HCFC quota is required to submit the online application then sign and post the original Quota Declaration to meet the requirements for original signatures in the quota transfer process.

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For further information please contact the Licensing Officer on +61 2 6274 1373 or ozone@environment.gov.au.

Joint application to transfer a Controlled Substances Licence

Transferring HCFC quota or part of a HCFC quota

To import or manufacture HCFCs, sufficient HCFC quota is required. The maximum amount of quota that can be allocated is determined by the annual HCFC industry limit and the individual use of quota in part of the previous licence period.

The HCFC quota for the current licence period has been fully allocated. However, if you can identify a current quota holder who wishes to transfer their total quota, or part of their quota to you, an application to transfer quota can be made under section 35 of the Act.

The recipient of the quota must be a holder of a Controlled Substances Licence. If you are not a current holder of a Controlled Substances Licence, you will be required to apply and pay the $15,000 non-refundable licence application fee before the transfer of quota can occur.

If you applied, and have been granted a Controlled Substances Licence for HCFCs, and you have identified a quota holder who is willing to transfer their total HCFC quota, or part of their quota to you, the current holder of HCFC quota (T ransferor) will be required to submit an application to transfer quota to the Minister .

Quarterly reporting & levy requirements

Holders of a controlled substances licence for HCFCs are required to provide quarterly reports to the Minister showing the type and quantity of HCFCs manufactured, imported, and/or exported. Licensees then need to pay a levy based on the quantity of substances imported (or manufactured should this commence in Australia).

The Manufacture/Import levy is a cost recovery or "prescribed rate" levy of $3000 per ozone depleting potential (ODP) tonne for HCFCs imported or manufactured.

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.

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 15 April 30 May
1 April – 30 June 15 July 29 August
1 July – 30 September 15 October 29 November
1 October – 31 December 15 January 1 March

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.

A reminder about imports of foam

The Ozone Protection Act 1989 (the Act) prohibits the import and manufacture of products that contain or rely upon chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

These include foams blown with CFCs such as:

  • extruded polystyrene packaging & insulation board
  • rigid polyurethane foam products
  • moulded polyurethane foam
  • CFC foams insulation in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.

The Ozone Protection Act 1989 also prohibits the import of polyols blended in HCFCs, including, for example 141b, 22 and 142b. Importation is prohibited unless a licence and HCFC quota are granted under the Act.

The Australian Government looks forward to continuing to work with industry and the community to protect the ozone layer.

More information

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

See also