Ozone depleting substances (ODS) are substances that have a harmful and depleting effect on the ozone layer and are controlled by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG) have a very high global warming potential and are listed under the Kyoto Protocol.

ODS and SGG controlled by the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols include:

  • Bromochloromethane
  • Bromomethane
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Halons
  • Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs).
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Methyl bromide
  • Methyl chloroform
  • Nitrogen trifluoride
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Sulfur hexafluoride

Goods that commonly contain ODS and SGG include:

  • air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment (domestic and industrial)
  • some aerosol products
  • some fire extinguishers
  • foam blowing agents, and
  • insulating gas in electrical components.


The importation of certain ODS and SGG is prohibited under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and regulation 5K of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, unless a licence has been granted.

A license is required to import ODS and SGG and can be granted by an authorised person at the Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE), as a delegate of the responsible Minister. There are some exemptions to this licence requirement under certain circumstances.

It is the responsibility of the importer to determine any license requirements or specific exception conditions before importing ODS or SGG.

A valid license to import ODS and SGG must be produced to the Australian Border Force at the time of importation

Exemptions – Do I need a licence?