Major auto retailer cops heavy fine for importing a bus containing R134a without a permit

IMPORTING a bus with an air-conditioning system containing R134a has landed a “major automotive retailer” in hot water.

The News South Wales-based business copped a $12,600 fine under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act for bringing in equipment charged with a controlled refrigerant without an appropriate licence.

According to The Department, the company “was aware of its obligations under the Act at the time it imported the bus”.

Monica Collins

Monica Collins

Monica Collins who heads up The Department’s Office of Compliance said that reducing synthetic greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance emissions was a priority.

“We work with the Australian Border Force to monitor and inspect imported and exported goods to ensure compliance with the Act and where appropriate undertake enforcement activities,” she said.

“Importers and customs brokers should check import requirements for synthetic greenhouse gases or ozone-depleting substances, including when they are contained in equipment, before importing or exporting goods.”

Ms Collins advised that companies “allow adequate time to apply for a licence or exemption as this may take up to 60 days”.

Other recent enforcement actions include a $12,600 fine for a company in Victoria that imported a swimming pool heat pump containing R410a without a license and a refrigeration mechanic in NSW who was relieved of $2520 for discharging R410a while installing an air-conditioning system.

The Department said the Victorian company was unaware of its legal obligations, but the NSW fridgie was an ARC license holder who “was aware of his obligations when the discharge occurred”.

Last year a NSW-based importer was fined $12,600, as well as incurring hefty storage costs and delays, for the unlicensed import of several vehicles containing a controlled refrigerant.

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