Changes to the licence scheme in 2018

In 2016 a review of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Program – including the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) licence scheme - was completed by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, following extensive consultation with RAC industry stakeholders through public consultation and targeted consultation with industry representatives.

The review identified a number of measures to be implemented. Two measures which relate to the RAC licence scheme are listed below:

3-year refrigerant handling licences (RHL) & refrigerant trading authorisations (RTA)

  • From 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018 a new option for a three (3) year RHL and RTA will be available – along with the standard permit durations (transition period)
  • From 1 Jan 2019 onwards the default duration for all RHLs (except for trainee RHL) and RTAs will be three (3) years.
  • Costs for the 3 year RTA/RHL will simply be the current annual fee applied over three years.
  • Trainee RHLs will default to 1 year in duration.

If, after the transition period, applicants have genuine concerns or a legitimate reason to seek a shorter permit duration there will be scope for deviating from the default period of three years for full permit holders or one year for trainee permit holders.

Update to RTA and RHL re-application process

From 1 Jan 2018 the process for re-applying for your RTA or RHL will be streamlined, becoming a ‘renewal’ process, compared to a re-application. The renewal option will only be available for RHL or RTA holders renewing before or at 30 days prior to their permit expiring. If it is within 30 days of expiry, the normal application process will apply.

Benefits for industry

What these measures seek to do is to reduce the administrative cost of the Regulations on business by reducing the length of time a business or individual needs to spend, over the longer-term, gathering information together and applying for a permit.