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.

All importers and exporters must be registered in the Commission’s Main ODS Database in order to be able to request and obtain the necessary licences.

Annual quotas are allocated to ozone depleting substances (ODS) being imported for free circulation.

 The steps involved in the import procedure are as follows:

  • Usually in spring of every year, the European Commission publishes in the Official Journal  of the European Union a notice to importers who wish to import ODS from outside of the EU in the following year.
  • Between approximately June and August of every year, importers who wish to import ODS from 1 January to 31 December in the following year need to submit an import declaration in the Main ODS Database.
  • Between approximately October and December of every year, based on an examination by the Commission and the Management Committee, the Commission, the Commission adopts the Decision on import quotas for the following year. The decision is published in the Official Journal of the European Union and each importer concerned is notified.
  • During the year of import, importers may request licences in the ODS Database, based on the quota allocated to them.

To request an import licence, importers should log in  to the Main ODS Database, open the link "My Home" and click on the button "Request" or "New" next to the corresponding import license type.

The steps involved in the export procedure are as follows:

  • In spring of every year, the Commission publishes in the Official Journal of the European Union a notice to exporters who wish to export ODS from the EU in the following year.
  • Between approximately June and August of every year, exporters who wish to export ODS in the following year should submit an export declaration in the Main-ODS-Database.
  • During the year of export, exporters need to request an export license in the ODS Database, based on the export declaration.

To request an export license, exporters should log in to the Main-ODS-Database, open the link "My Home" and click on the button "Request" or "New" next to the corresponding export license type.

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

Register or login to the European Commission’s ODS Database

Read the European Commission’s Frequently Asked Questions on imports and exports

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)