ODS Import and Export

In general, the import and export of ozone depleting substances (ODS), or products and equipment containing or relying on ozone depleting substances is prohibited. However, there are a number of exceptions to this general rule. These exceptions are listed in Regulation 1005/2009 under Article 15 for Imports and Article 17 for Exports.


Import and export licensing

All imports and exports that take place under the various exemptions set out in Articles 15 and 17 respectively are subject to licensing. An electronic licensing system is operated by the European Commission, and all licenses are issued by the Commission to the importer or exporter, according to a specified procedure.

To request an import or an export licence, importers/exporters should register and log in to the Commission’s ODS Licensing System. Annual quotas are allocated to ozone depleting substances (ODS) being imported for free circulation.

Different licence types are available to different types of import and exports. The European Commission has produced a series of Quick Guides and Manuals to assist importers and exporters through the process.

Bulk licences (annual licence for multiple shipments) are now available for the import and export of halon-based fire extinguishers (whether portable or fixed) to be used on aircraft for critical uses, and the import or export of aircrafts with such extinguishers on board.

In the aviation sector, through a simplified process, it is possible to apply for a bulk licence for the import and export of products or equipment containing or relying on halon for critical use on aircrafts (e.g. fire extinguishers on board aircraft). Under the simplified process an import or export licence for products and equipment containing or relying on halons for critical uses in aircrafts will be valid from the date of issuing until the end of the calendar year for which it was issued, and can be used for multiple shipments. Separate licences are necessary for imports and exports.

There are also special rules for the import of certain ozone depleting substances that may be used in essential laboratory and analytical uses. Controlled substances may only be used in laboratories for essential uses where no alternative is available. Importers, suppliers (distributors) and users of ODS for essential laboratory and analytical uses must register on the Commission's Laboratory ODS Database.


Commodity Codes (Common Nomenclature (CN) Codes)

All goods imported or exported must be declared according to 8-digit codes, known as Common Nomenclature (CN) or commodity codes. All ozone depleting substances have unique 8-digit codes assigned to them, as listed in Annex IV of Regulation 1005/2009. In addition, the European Commission has identified numerous other CN codes of goods that may fall under the requirements of Regulation 1005/2009.

In the case of import or export of a good that has a CN code which has been identified as possibly falling under the requirements of Regulation 1005/2009, importers or exporters should satisfy themselves that they have adhered to the necessary licensing procedures in the event that the good is an ozone depleting substance.

Further information on the procedure to follow when declaring goods is available from Customs AEP Helpdesk: Lo-call: 1890-204 304.  (Open 9am - 5pm Mon-Fri).  Email: aephelpdesk@revenue.ie.

The full list of CN codes that are listed in the Regulation or additionally identified by the Commission are available in a document on the Commission’s website and can be downloaded at the link below.


Learn more

Read about ODS licensing on the European Commission's webpage

Register or login to the European Commission’s ODS Licensing System

Download the EU's Import and Export Licensing Manuals

Download the European Commission’s list of CN codes

Download the Presentation to Irish Exporters Association (Waterford, 31st March 2010)

Find out about essential laboratory and analytical use of ODS