R22, or HCFC-22, is an ozone depleting substance. Production and import of bulk ozone depleting substances in Australia has been gradually reduced from the early 1990s. Bans on production and import of equipment containing ozone depleting substances have been gradually introduced over time. Production and import of most ozone depleting substances and equipment containing those substances is already phased out.
What is happening with R22 bulk gas?
- From 2016 to 2029, Australia may only import 2.5 ozone depleting tonnes of hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs) annually, equivalent to about 45 tonnes of R22.
- From January 2020, R22 imported into Australia can only be used for servicing existing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
- From January 2020, R22 imports will be banned entirely. From then, the servicing of remaining R22- based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerant.
- Some used R22 is already being recovered for re-use. If suing recovered R22, ensure it has been returned to the manufacturer’s specification so you can be assured of its quality and suitability. Contact your refrigerant supplier for further information.
- The price of R22 may rise depending on demand and availability
What is happening with R22 equipment?
New R22 refrigeration and air conditioning equipment can no longer be manufactured or imported into Australia, apart from some spare parts and ins some special circumstances.
- Existing R22 Equipment already in Australia will not be banned and does not need to be decommissioned or retrofitted
- Existing units using R22 can continue to be serviced with R22. Regular servicing can benefit owners through reduced electricity costs and reduced gas replacement costs for leaked gas.
- There is no need to transition to an alternative refrigerant or system it your R22 system is in good working order. However, new equipment is generally more energy efficient and may have smaller refrigerant charges and lower leakage rates, and therefore can be cheaper to run.
- Spare parts might become harder to source as R22 equipment becomes more out of date.