Importing or exporting ozone depleting substances

If you are importing or exporting an ozone depleting substance you need to apply for a permit or exemption.

What are HCFCs?

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are ozone-depleting substances that contain chlorine. They are refrigerants in appliances such as air conditioners, heat pumps and all types of different refrigeration systems (domestic fridges, commercial and industrial chillers, cool stores, refrigerated containers, etc).

The most common HCFC in refrigeration is R22, which needs to be replaced when it has leaked out of appliances and products.

HCFCs are also used to manufacture insulation foams for products like water heaters, cool stores and water pipes.

Exemptions for importing ozone depleting substances Plus

Under the Ozone Layer Protection Amendment Act 2011, we have the ability to grant an exemption for the import of controlled ozone-depleting substances. This applies to both new or recycled ozone-depleting substances in many cases.

You can apply for an exemption for the import of controlled ozone-depleting substances using the application form below.

An application for an exemption requires strong reasoning and generally falls into one of the following categories:

  • Goods
    Aerosols or fire extinguishers, whose use can be justified as necessary for human health, may be granted an import exemption. Please note that this also applies to importing refilled fire extinguishers with recycled Halon
  • Controlled ozone-depleting substances
    An exemption may be granted for the import of controlled ozone-depleting substances for research purposes, or where it can be justified that use is essential for human health or safety.

To apply for an import exemption email your completed application form to

OLPA Import Exemption Application Form (docx 395KB) 


Import permits for methyl bromide Plus

Methyl bromide is an ozone-depleting substance used in New Zealand for quarantine or pre-shipment (QPS) fumigation purposes.

We grant import permits to replace methyl bromide used for legitimate QPS purposes under Regulation 7 of the Ozone Layer Protection Act. A definition of legitimate QPS purposes can be found on the Biosecurity New Zealand website.

Companies who are wholesalers, import and supply methyl bromide to fumigators in New Zealand for QPS purposes. Before we will issue these permits, we require information to verify the methyl bromide was used for legitimate QPS purposes.

Information required to prove this use is outlined in the OLPA Methyl Bromide application form, which must be completed if you are applying to import methyl bromide.

OLPA Methyl Bromide Application form under Reg 7 (doc 383KB)

To apply for a methyl bromide import permit email your completed application form to


Bringing in aeroplanes Plus

If you are bringing an airplane into New Zealand there are rules about fire extinguishers that you’ll need to consider.

Learn more about importing aeroplanes (pdf 67KB)


Transhipments Plus

Any controlled substance or goods entering New Zealand that will remain in the same condition, and later be shipped elsewhere is/are required to apply for an exemption.