Refrigerant offences

Crackdown on refrigerant offences

The Department of the Environment and Energy has issued a number of fines for offences under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

A New South Wales-based refrigeration mechanic has been fined $2,520 for discharging R410A while installing an air conditioning system.

According to the Department, the offender holds a permit issued by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) under the regulations to the Act and was aware of his obligations when the discharge occurred.

“The Department and ARC work together to promote voluntary compliance with the Act and its regulations,” says Monica Collins, Head of the Department’s Office of Compliance.

“The ARC engages widely with businesses and technicians to help them to understand and comply with their obligations. This includes the obligation not to discharge scheduled substances.”

The Department has also fined two companies.

A New South Wales-based company has been fined $12,600 for importing a bus with an air conditioning system containing R134a without an appropriate licence.

The import into Australia of equipment containing HFCs such as R134a is prohibited unless the correct licence or exemption is held.

According to the Department, the company involved is a major automotive retailer and was aware of its obligations under the Act at the time it imported the bus.

And a Victorian-based company has been fined $12,600 for importing a pool heat pump containing R410A without an appropriate licence. The Department says that the company was unaware of its obligations under the Act.

“Reducing emissions of synthetic greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances is a priority area for the Department,” says Collins.

“We work with the Australian Border Force to monitor and inspect imported and exported goods to ensure compliance with the Act and where appropriate undertake enforcement activities.

“Importers and customs brokers should check import requirements for synthetic greenhouse gases or ozone depleting substances, including when they are contained in equipment, before importing or exporting goods. It is advisable to allow adequate time to apply for a licence or exemption as this may take up to 60 days.”

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