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Illegal refrigerant trade Down Under?

What’s wrong with this picture? The Australian flag and Australia Post logo on a one-shot DIY can of R134a for a start.

This is just a selection of illegal R134a found on Australian eBay during a quick search by SightGlass News. And they seem to be selling rather successfully!

We found more of the same on Gumtree, but none on Facebook marketplace.

Although one-shot cans of R134a are not illegal in New Zealand, it appears that not all sellers have registered with the Emissions Trading Scheme and are therefore also offering R134a illegally.

Back in Australia, it’s possible to buy 300ml of R134a in disposable cans labelled as air horns. You can even buy a ‘refill’ can without the plastic horn on it.

VASA has raised concerns about these products with the relevant authorities in the past, but the air horns appear to fall under a special use category that is immune from enforcement under the Ozone and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas legislation.

We have also reported the illegal online listings to eBay and Gumtree, as well as passing details on to the authorities.

More concerning are unconfirmed sightings of big disposable (therefore illegal) cylinders of R134a in Melbourne.

Given their controlled substance status and the fact there is no R134a manufacturing in Australia or NZ, products should have been impounded at the border.

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