The ARC has administered the national licensing scheme on behalf of the Australian Government since 2005, to assist in minimising the risk of refrigerant emissions damaging the environment.
Businesses placing advertising for the installation, service, repair or maintenance of air conditioning or refrigeration systems or equipment in the press, radio or electronic media must include an Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) licence number in their advertisement.
The ARC licence is a national environment based licence. It is not an occupational licence (i.e electrician’s licence/ plumber’s licence) or contractor’s licence that may be required by state or territory authorities.
There are two licences issued by the ARC—a refrigerant trading authorisation whose number is prefixed by the letters `AU’ followed by a five digit number, e.g. AU67891 and a refrigerant handling licence whose number is prefixed by the letter `L’ followed by a six digit number, e.g. L567890.
If an individual or business is installing, servicing, repairing or maintaining air conditioning or refrigeration systems or equipment containing or meant to contain fluorocarbon refrigerant they may be required to have an occupational or contractor licence but, by law, must also have a current ARC licence.
Most air conditioning and refrigeration equipment in Australia contain fluorocarbon refrigerants. These refrigerants are synthetic greenhouse gases and/or ozone depleting substances.They cause significant environmental damage if released into the atmosphere, most notably contribute to global warming and/or destruction of the ozone layer. That is why they are regulated by the Australian Government.
Advertising refrigeration or air conditioning services without the inclusion of an ARC licence number is an offence.
However, this requirement does not apply to refrigeration or air conditioning appliance retailers or to the installation or maintenance of evaporative air conditioners.
Other exceptions may include: provision of electrical connection only of a system or repairs of electrical wiring or electrical components in a system only.