Do I need a permit through the ARC to handle and buy R32?

Yes. R32 is controlled under Australia’s Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management legislation. A refrigerant handling licence (RHL) is required to work on systems containing R32. A refrigerant trading authorisation (RTA) is required to acquire, possess and dispose of R32.

Although R32 has a lower global warming potential compared to other common refrigerants, it is still mandatory to recover this refrigerant from end of life air conditioning and refrigeration systems or during maintenance on the refrigeration circuit. Changes to the Dangerous Goods Legislation, effective in 2021, has new categories for A2L refrigerants.

R32 is a synthetic greenhouse gas. If released to the atmosphere it can contribute to climate change.

R32 is a flammable refrigerant. Regardless of the licensing provisions, employers have a duty of care to ensure that their workers are appropriately trained and have the necessary equipment to use A2L refrigerants.

For additional occupational and work health and safety licensing requirements, check with the relevant state-based licensing authorities.