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 (the Act) to import, export and manufacture hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and/or sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) without a controlled substance licence for SGGs.

A controlled substances licence for SGGs is required to manufacture HFCs, PFCs and/or SF6 as well as for the import and export of any amount of HFCs, PFCs and/or SF6 that is not contained in products or equipment. For SGGs contained in products and equipment see Equipment Licences (EQPL).

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 either the Act or 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.
    *Note: if you are applying to import, manufacture or export SGGs AND HCFCs , a non-refundable application fee of $30,000 applies.

Note: Medicines, veterinary medicines, medical devices and veterinary devices that use Synthetic Greenhouse Gases 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 Team 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.

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, 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. However, the statutory timeframes of the Act stipulates that department may take up to 60 days to process an application.

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

A controlled substances licence for 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 2012 and ends on 31 December 2013. The next licence period will commence on 1 January 2014 and cease on 31 December 2015.

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.

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

Quarterly reporting and levy requirements

In addition to the licence application fee, importers and/or manufacturers of SGGs are required to pay a levy based on the type and amount of scheduled substances imported or manufactured.

The Import/Manufacture Levy has a cost recovery or "prescribed rate" component which is $165 per metric tonne. In addition, the carbon charge component applies to SGGs and is based on the carbon price and the global warming potential for each gas.

Fee for HFC, PFC or SF6

The Import/Manufacture Levy** for HFCs, PFCs and SF6 is calculated by adding the prescribed rate component to the carbon charge component, as shown below.

Prescribed Rate Component
The prescribed rate component is $165 per metric tonne of the gas.

Carbon Charge Component
Tonnes of gas multiplied by
Global warming potential of that gas multiplied by
Applicable carbon price for that year.

** For further explanation on calculating the equivalent carbon price on synthetic greenhouse gases, please see www.environment.gov.au/equivalentcarbonprice

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 type and quantity of SGG manufactured and/or imported, licensees are required to pay a levy at the end of each reporting period.

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 the 15th 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 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

Controlled Substances Quarterly Reporting Forms

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

See also