What Gasses Are Permitted When Shipping a Car or Fridge/Freezer Abroad?
Are Refrigerant Gasses Allowed To Be Shipped Overseas?
When shipping vehicles such as motorhomes, caravans, and boats which contain refrigerators or cars that use refrigerant gas in its air-conditioning system, you must comply with the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989, which helps control the manufacture or import and export of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and Synthetic Greenhouse Gasses (SGG) in Australia.
The Act says that if anyone is trying to import any piece of equipment that contains any ozone depleting substances or synthetic greenhouse gasses including those within refrigeration units as well as air-conditioning equipment must obtain an Ozone Substance/Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Equipment License (EQPL).
(An ODS/SSG equipment license (EQPL) may even be required if the unit that is using is incorporated into another object, e.g. cars, boats, caravans, motorhomes, or any other vehicle including though used for earth moving equipment).
Important things to note:
You must find out what type of gas is used within the equipment that you are planning on importing as well as the amount of gas that is within the piece of equipment (if pre-gassed).
All the evidence that you produce must be written in English or translated into English before shipping the equipment.
Some Common scenarios when importing refrigerators
Here are some common import scenarios that face a number of exporters when exporting a vehicle or ODS/SSG equipment.
Scenario 1 - I am moving to Australia from overseas and I want to import my vehicle and/or a domestic fridge/freezer for private or domestic use.
When importing under these circumstances you may not need to apply for an ODS/SSG equipment license (EQPL) if it is being kept by you or a member of your family and was owned in its original country for 12 months under the pretense that it was used privately or domestically and will continue to be the same in Australia.
ODS/SSG equipment that is on board or incorporated into other equipment (such as air-conditioning units) may also be exempt from the Act as long as you can produce the correct documentary evidence which includes;
Copy of the vehicles registration papers or a copy of the vehicles purchase invoice.
Export Bill of Lading listing the household and personal items that you are importing.
A statutory declaration stating that the equipment was used only for private or domestic use.
Scenario 2 - I am planning to import equipment (e.g. a car, boat, caravan, motorhome, fridge, etc) and the equipment's air-conditioning system is gassed with Hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant gas, and the equipment is still in the country of origin.
If your equipment's air-conditioning is gassed with Hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) gas and you are planning to export it to Australia in that condition, you will be required to apply for an ODS/SSG equipment license (EQPL) before it arrives in Australia.
You can find out how to apply for an ODS/SGG equipment license (EQPL) on the Australian Government, Department of the Environment website.
A PCE license is required even if the air-conditioning or refrigeration system is incorporated into either a car, boat, yacht, caravan, air conditioners, refrigerators, water coolers, etc. A license is required by all importers of pre-charged equipment, independent of the number of units or the amount of gas in the units being imported, unless the equipment has been de-gassed prior to being imported (and the importer has documentary evidence to confirm this).