Know someone doing the wrong thing? Help us to help you

It’s only fair that licensed technicians and authorised businesses who do the right thing are not let down by ‘backyarders’ who don’t. In fact, it’s the law.

The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment rely on industry feedback when it comes to investigating potential breaches of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (the Act) and the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 (the Regulations).

Under the Act and the Regulations, it is illegal to:

  • Install, service or repair an air conditioner, fridge or freezer - or any other piece of refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) equipment containing CFC, HFC or HCFC refrigerant - without an appropriate refrigerant handling licence (RHL) (Regulation 111) or work outside the scope of the RHL (Regulation 136).
  • Hold a refrigerant trading authorisation (RTA) and conduct activities outside the conditions of the RTA (Regulation 142).
  • Be a trainee RHL holder and undertake work on RAC equipment without the supervision of an appropriately licensed person (Regulation 136).
  • Buy/acquire, possess/store or dispose/sell bulk refrigerant (other than halon) without a RTA (Regulation 112).
  • Advertise refrigeration or air conditioning services without including a current RTA number (Regulation 141).
  • Deliberately leak refrigerant (Section 45B of the Act).
  • Top up leaking equipment or vehicles (Regulation 136). ‘Topping up’ means adding refrigerant to RAC systems before checking for, and fixing, any leaks.
  • Recycle, dismantle or decommission RAC equipment without first recovering the refrigerant present in the system (Section 45B of the Act).
  • Charge RAC equipment with a refrigerant that has a higher global warming potential (GWP) than the refrigerant the equipment was designed to use (Regulation 135, 1(B)(A) and Regulation 141, 1(B)(A)). For example, charging an automotive air conditioning system originally containing R1234yf (with a GWP of 1) with R134A (with a GWP of 1,430).
  • Claim to have a permit when you do not (Regulation 113A).

If you notice someone doing the wrong thing visit the ARC website and lodge a complaint. Go to our complaint webpage. It is important that accurate and credible information is provided to maximise the opportunity for a successful outcome. For general questions regarding compliance with the RAC industry permit scheme, please email

Note: These examples have been included to better illustrate the scenarios that might apply to the RAC industry, as they relate to the specific examples in the Regulations and the Act. To read the offences and penalties under the Act and the Regulations, visit the Legislation & Regulation section on our website.

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