Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Permit Scheme - Refunds Guidance

Regulation 121B under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 specify the circumstances the Minister (or delegate) can approve the refund of the whole or part of an application fee paid for a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) industry permit.

This guide is for individuals and businesses who have paid the application fee for a RAC permit in error.

The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) administers the RAC permit scheme on behalf of the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy (the Department). The ARC receives refund requests from applicants and forwards these to the Department for consideration.

The Department assesses refund requests on a case-by-case basis. You must provide a legitimate reason and relevant evidence supporting your request (see information listed under “How do I request a refund?”). 

Please note that application fees are not refundable if you withdraw or cancel your application, or if the ARC has already finished the assessment and made a decision to grant or deny your application.

Please refer to the following scenarios to determine if you are entitled to a refund:

 

I have…The Department…
made a payment error, for example:
submitted more than one payment for the same permit type will refund the second and subsequent payments (the payments made in error)*. The original payment will be applied to the application assessment.
paid more than the required application fee will refund the excess amount once the correct fee is paid.*
  • made a mistake regarding my permit, for example:

submitted a new application for the wrong permit type

For example: I applied for a new RTA when a new RHL is required; OR I applied for a full RHL when a Trainee licence is required.

will refund the application fee paid for the incorrect permit type, once the application for the correct permit has been submitted and paid for.*

Note: the Department will not refund the application fee if the ARC has already finished the assessment and made a decision to grant or deny your application.

renewed my current permit before its expiry date

will refund the application fee for a renewal submitted 6 months or more before the current permit’s expiry date, as long as the ARC hasn’t already finished the assessment and made a decision to grant or deny the application.*

Note: generally the Department will not consider refund requests if your current permit is less than 6 months from expiring. The renewal, if granted, would enter into force from the expiry date of your existing permit.

If you have a legitimate reason for renewing your permit more than 6 months in advance, please contact the ARC to discuss your situation before submitting your application and/or refund request.

applied and paid for a new permit when I should have renewed my existing permit

I want to cancel / withdraw the new application and get a refund for the application fee

will not refund the application fee when an applicant cancels or withdraws a new permit application.

You have the option of asking the ARC to continue the assessment of the new application. If granted, your new permit will be issued under a new permit number.

  • not met application requirements, for example:

been asked to provide additional information to support my application and have not provided the information to the ARC within 6 months

will not refund the application fee when an applicant has not provided additional information within 6 months of the ARC’s request.

The application is taken to have been withdrawn and the application fee is not refundable.

had my application refused

will not consider refunding payments for applications that have been assessed and refused by the ARC.

If you are not satisfied with the ARC’s decision in relation to your application, you may apply directly to the ARC for an internal reconsideration of the decision within 21 business days of the day on which you received notice of the decision from the ARC. Your request must set out the reasons why you would like the decision reconsidered.

had my training course cancelled (for Trainee Refrigerant Handling Licence)

will not refund the application fee when a training course is cancelled.

You may enrol in a new course during the 12-month duration of the licence. Contact the ARC to update your supervisor declaration and course details once you have re-enrolled.

*Note: Appropriate evidence and justification must be provided, see “How do I request a refund?

How do I request a refund?

If, after reading the guidance, you determine that you are eligible for a refund, you will need to send an email to the ARC at enquire@arctick.org with ALL information listed below. Each month, the ARC collates all requests received and forwards them with the required information to the Department for assessment.

  • Applicant’s name (the name that would have been on the permit);
  • Refund applicant’s name (the name of the person who paid the licence fee on behalf of the applicant, if applicable);
  • Applicant’s existing permit number OR indicate if it’s a NEW application;
  • Existing permit expiry date, if not a new application;
  • Date and amount of incorrect payment/s made;
  • Evidence of the incorrect payment/s made (example, copies of receipts or bank statements); and
  • Reason for requesting a refund. Indicate which of the above refund scenarios apply to the refund request and provide a short explanation of how the incorrect application/s or payment/s occurred.

If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a refund you may discuss your case prior to submitting a request, by calling the Department directly on 02 6274 2148 or by sending an email to RAC@environment.gov.au

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Am I entitled to a refund if I paid an application fee more than once for the same permit type?

A: Yes, please email the information listed under “How do I request a refund?” to the ARC.

Q2: Can I get a refund if I paid more than the application fee?

A: Yes, you are entitled to receive a refund for the amount paid over and above the required application fee. Please email the information listed under “How do I request a refund?” to the ARC.

Q3: Would I be eligible for a refund if I submitted a new application for the wrong type of permit?

A: Yes, after you apply and pay for the correct permit type, and provided the ARC hasn’t finished the assessment and made a decision to grant or deny the incorrect application. Please email the information listed under “How do I request a refund?” to the ARC.

Q4: Can I ask for a refund if I renew my permit before its expiry date?

A: The application fee will be refunded if you renew your permit more than 6 months before its expiry date, providing the ARC hasn’t finished the assessment and made a decision to grant or deny the renewal application. Please email the information listed under “How do I request a refund?” to the ARC.

The application fee will not be refunded if you renew you permit less than 6 months from its expiry date. The renewal, if granted, will enter into force from the expiry date of your existing permit.

Q5: Why can’t I apply for a renewal more than 6 months before my current permit expires?

A: Applicants who submit a renewal more than 6 months in advance risk not meeting eligibility requirements at the time the permit is intended to commence. The ARC assesses applicant requirements, including the applicant’s compliance history, current business arrangements and if the applicant is fit and proper to be granted a permit. These checks need to be performed within 6 months of the current permit expiring.

If you have a legitimate reason for renewing your permit more than 6 months in advance, please contact the ARC (1300 884 483 or enquire@arctick.org) to discuss your situation before submitting your application and/or refund request.

Q6: Am I eligible for a refund if I cancel or withdraw my application?

A: No, Regulation 121A(6) stipulates that the application fee is not refundable if an applicant chooses to cancel or withdraw their application.

Q7: Am I entitled to a refund if my application is refused?

A: No, you are not entitled to a refund if the ARC has finished the assessment and made a decision to refuse your application.

If you want the ARC to review their decision to refuse your application, apply directly to the ARC for an internal reconsideration of the decision within 21 business days of the day on which you received notice of the decision from the ARC. When submitting your request, you will need to explain the reasons why you would like the decision reconsidered.

Q8: Am I eligible for a refund if I renew and pay for my existing permit and shortly after I find that I no longer need a permit?

A: No, the application fee is not refundable if you decide the permit renewal is no longer required and choose to cancel or withdraw your application.

Q9: As a Trainee Refrigerant Handling Licence holder, can I get a refund if a training course is cancelled after I submitted my application?

A: No, as a trainee you can enrol in a new training course within the 12-month duration of the Trainee Refrigerant Handling Licence.

Q10: Can I request a refund if I paid the application fee on behalf of someone else?

A: Yes, as long as you can demonstrate that you have a legitimate reason to apply for a refund on behalf of someone else.

Q11: What happens after I submit my refund request to the ARC?

A: The ARC submits requests for refunds to the Department for consideration on a monthly basis. If your request is approved, the Department will send you an email asking you to provide your bank account details and other information to allow payment of the refund. Note: the Department does not have the facility to refund directly back to credit cards.

It can take up to 30 days for the Department to assess refund requests, following receipt of the information and transaction evidence provided by the ARC.

Q12: Can I contact the Department directly to discuss my refund?

A: Yes, you can discuss your refund directly with the Department by sending an email to RAC@environment.gov.au, or by calling 02 6274 2148.

Q13: Can I request a review of my refund decision?

A: Yes, if you are not satisfied with the Department’s decision in relation to your request for refund, you may apply directly with the Department for an internal reconsideration of the decision by sending an email to RAC@environment.gov.au within 21 business days of the day on which you received notice of the decision from the Department. Your request must set out the reasons why the decision should be reconsidered.