Reporting obligations for importers and exporters
A company that failed to report its imports and exports of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases – and equipment containing those gases – has been found to have breached its responsibilities by the Department of the Environment.
The Department commenced legal proceedings against Ayre Conditioning Pty Ltd after the company failed to submit quarterly reports for three consecutive reporting periods by the due date, despite receiving multiple notifications and warning letters.
In December 2013, the Federal Court of Australia declared that Ayre breached the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995, by not submitting quarterly reports for the periods October to December 2012, January to March and April to June 2013.
In addition to the declaration, the Department was awarded costs.
Section 46 and 46A of the Act requires licence holders to submit quarterly reports for all imports and exports of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases, as well as equipment containing those gases (such as air conditioners and refrigeration equipment), including 'Nil' reports, at any time before the 15th day following the end of each quarter.
Unreported imports impede the Department's ability to meet its international reporting obligations on the manufacture, import and export of scheduled substances in Australia.
The Australian government runs a national compliance program to monitor and enforce the licensing and reporting requirements under the Ozone legislation. Ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases are monitored throughout the supply chain.
In cooperation with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Department has a range of monitoring and inspection arrangements in place to ensure compliance and undertake enforcement activities.
Breaches of the Act are investigated and may result in an infringement notice or prosecution. A licence may also be cancelled if the licensee is considered to be no longer a fit and proper person to hold a licence, or has contravened a condition of the licence.
The Department urges all licence holders to meet their responsibilities under the Act and Regulations.