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Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Managing radiation in NSW

Frequently asked questions about radiation management licences

1. What is regulated material?
2. Who is a person responsible?
3. What is a management licence?
4. How many types of management licences are there?
5. What happens to existing licences to sell and/or possess and registrations?
6. Do I still need a user licence if I have a management licence?
7. How long are management licences issued for?
8. Are there licensing fees?
9. When is a management licence required?
10. What is exempt from a management licence?
11. What does a management licence authorise? 
12. Will multiple management licences be issued to the same company?
13. What does a management licence look like?
14. Who should hold the licence?
15. What do I need to include in my licence application or renewal?
16. How do I apply for a management licence?
17. How are applications assessed?
18. How do I vary or change my management licence?
19. What is the difference between a change and a variation to a management licence?
20. What am I required to do when I take possession of a radiation source that I have been authorised to possess through my management licence?
21. How do I transfer a management licence?
22. What am I required to do when I dispose of a radiation source that I have been authorised to dispose of through my management licence?
23. Replacing an existing radiation source?
24. Is there any change to the type of apparatus that is regulated by the new management licence?
25. Need more information?

Notes:

  1. The Act referred to throughout this document is the Radiation Control Act 1990 unless otherwise specified.
  2. The Regulation referred to throughout this document is the Radiation Control Regulation 2013 unless otherwise specified.
  3. The legislation referred to throughout this document is the above mentioned ACT, Regulation and any other associated Codes etc. referred to in the Act or the Regulation, unless otherwise specified.
     

1. What is regulated material?

Regulated material comprises:

  1. sealed source devices
  2. ionising radiation apparatus, and
  3. radioactive substances (sealed and unsealed sources)

2. Who is a person responsible?

For the purposes of the Act the following are a person responsible for regulated material:

  1. the owner
  2. any person who is storing, selling or giving away regulated material
  3. any person who has possession of regulated material, except for: 
    1. a person with a user licence who has possession of regulated material solely to use it
    2. a person who has possession of regulated material solely to transport it

A person responsible may be an individual or a company.

3. What is a management licence?

A management licence must be held by a person responsible for regulated material.

Management licences are issued by the EPA to a person or company authorising them to conduct a radiation practice such as selling, possessing or storing regulated material.

Devices, apparatus and premises will no longer be individually registered. Instead, the person responsible for any number and type of regulated material will be required to hold a single radiation management licence.

These licences may authorise radiation practices to occur at multiple sites across NSW involving multiple radiation sources.

4. How many types of management licences are there?

There are two types:

  1. A sell only management licence
  2. A management licence for selling, possessing and/or storing regulated material

5. What happens to existing licences to sell and/or possess, and registrations?

Each existing sell and/or possess licence or registration will automatically convert to individual management licences on 1 July 2013. All holders will be immediately covered and therefore comply with the new regulation.

Each new management licence will in the interim take on the expiry date of the current sell and/or possess licence or registration. For those licensees who previously only held a single registration, their newly converted management licence will take on the expiry date that previously applied to their registration.

The EPA will then commence a process of identifying the single management licence holder for each group of registrations and in some cases holders of multiple sell and/or possess licences.

The person or organisation that is considered to be the management licence holder will then be advised in writing of all the regulated material that is covered by their new management licences.

The expiry dates of all existing sell and/or possess licences and registrations for each management licence will then be averaged and this will used to calculate a single date for the expiry of all previously issued sell and/or possess licences and registrations held by that person or organisation. This expiry date will be communicated to that person or organisation.

In this way management licence holders will not be disadvantaged by paying for new management licences before the averaged expiry date of all of the sell and/or possess licences and registration that they have already paid for.

6. Do I still need a user licence if I have a management licence?

The provisions for licences to use regulated material will generally remain unchanged. Refer to the User Licence page for more information on user licensing.

7. How long are management licences issued for?

A sell only licence may be valid for either 1 year or 3 years.

A management licence (to sell, possess, store or give away) is issued for a period of one year.

8. Are there licensing fees?

There are prescribed fees for management licences which consist of:

  1. Application fees (for new applications)
  2. Administration fees (for new applications)
  3. Renewal fees (for existing licences being renewed
  4. Licence fees (for items of regulated material)

Fees are scheduled to increase by approximately 2.5% each financial year.

The fees are set out in Schedule 4 of the Radiation Control Regulation 2013 and are detailed on the EPA website

9. When is a management licence required?

You need a management licence to sell, possess and/or store regulated material.

The management licence is required before you can sell, possess or store regulated material. Failure to hold the required management licence is a serious offence under the Radiation Control Act 1990.

10. What is exempt from a management licence?

The only exemptions from radiation management licensing requirements are for those radioactive substances, radiation devices and sealed source devices that were exempted previously by the Radiation Control Regulation 2003.

These are detailed in the Radiation Control Regulation 2013 as follows:

  • radioactive substances specified in Part 2 of Schedule 3
  • ionising radiation apparatus specified in Part 4 of Schedule 3
  • sealed source devices specified in Part 5 of Schedule 3

11. What does a management licence authorise?

The management licence authorises the responsible person to conduct a radiation practice such as selling, possessing or storing regulated material.

Prior to 1 July 2013, individual devices, apparatus and premises (e.g. x-ray units) had to be individually registered. From 1 July 2013 the possession of multiple radiation sources at multiple sites can be authorised by one management licence.

The management licence will operate under the Act, Regulation and any conditions attached to the licence.

12. Will multiple management licences be issued to the same company?

Entities will now have only one management licence for all regulated material that they own. This will reduce the administrative burden on the licence holder by giving them one consolidated licence which lists all the sites and regulated material located on those sites in NSW and will have a single renewal process and timeframe for all of them. It will also give the EPA a single view of each licence holder and its associated sites and regulated material.

13. What does a management licence look like?

The management licence will consist of some or all of the following as appropriate:

  1. Cover sheet with licensee details
  2. A schedule with details relating to each item of regulated material grouped by site location and type:
    1. regulated apparatus
    2. sealed source devices
    3. sealed sources not in sealed source devices
    4. the location of unsealed regulated material
  3. A schedule that details the management licence conditions that applies to licences.
    1. Note the conditions will not restate requirements already specified elsewhere in legislation and will refer to other documents as required
    2. Typically some of these conditions require compliance with the relevant code of practice

14. Who should hold the licence?

The licence needs to be held by the legal entity that is the responsible person as defined in the relevant legislation. In most cases for management licences this will be a company.

15. What do I need to include in my licence application or renewal?

A completed application form (including applicant details, required licence type, fit and proper person declaration, type of practice, specific regulated material information for each item of apparatus, sealed source devices and radioactive substances and premises, declaration, fee details and form of payment.

Note: Certificates of compliance issued by an EPA-certified radiation expert are not required to accompany management licence applications or renewals. However, the applicant must confirm that each applicable item of regulated material is certified at the time of application.

16. How do I apply for a management licence?

You should familiarise yourself with the requirements to hold a management licence and the application form. Information is available in the Radiation part of the Hazardous Materials section of the EPA website.

Complete the form and then send it to:

Licensing and Registration Team
Hazardous Materials, Chemicals and Radiation Section
NSW Environment Protection Authority
PO Box A290
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 1232

17. How are applications assessed?

All applications are initially checked for completeness and entered into the EPA’s licensing system. Applications are assessed on their merits against the assessment criteria. The assessment criteria consist of some generic matters but will vary depending on the nature of the proposal.

Additional criteria have been introduced under Section 5 of the Act that expands the matters the EPA will take into consideration when determining if the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence. These also require the applicant to make a number of declarations on the application form.

If the application is approved, a licence will be sent to the applicants’ preferred mailing address.

18. How do I vary or change my management licence?

A written request must be received from the licence holder to make the variation or change. The request will be assessed against the relevant criteria and a decision made to either grant or refuse the request.

19. What is the difference between a change and a variation to a management licence?

Variations involve changes to the licence that attach additional regulated material or alter the conditions on the licence. A fee applies to a licence variation and this is set out in the Regulation. You will need to make an application on the appropriate licence variation form.

Changes which are deemed to be minor variations to a licence do not attract a fee. Notification for minor variations must be in writing using the licence variation form, but no fee is applicable.

Minor variations include:

  1. changes of address
  2. changing contact details
  3. removing regulated material from the licence.

As part of the transition arrangements, licence variations will not incur a variation fee until after 31 January 2014.

When a licence is varied, a revised licence document is sent to the management licence holder. When adding new items to an existing licence , the items may be used whilst your application to add the items is being processed. Your application should be lodged within 7 days of receipt or transfer occurring.

If you are unsure if your proposed change will require a formal variation, please contact the EPA for clarification

20. What am I required to do when I take possession of a radiation source that I have been authorised to possess through my management licence?

It is a requirement that a management licence holder notify the EPA on taking possession or disposing of a radiation source.

This means that management licence holders need to notify the EPA.

21. Can I transfer a management licence?

The new legislation does not permit the transfer of management licences.

Where all the items of regulated material are being relocated from a management licence holder to another legal entity there are a number of steps to be followed:

  1. The other legal entity must hold a current management licence before it takes possession of the items of regulated material.
  2. The EPA must be notified of the relocation of the items.
  3. The management licence holder taking possession of the assets must add those assets to their management licence by sending the relevant details to the EPA.
  4. The management licence holder giving away or selling the assets must remove those assets from management licence by sending the relevant details to the EPA.

The transferring of regulated material from one management licence to another is usually considered an application to vary an existing licence and will require the completion of a licence variation form.

22. What am I required to do when I dispose of a radiation source that I have been authorised to dispose of through my management licence?

A person must not dispose of any radioactive substance or any radiation apparatus except with the consent of the Chair of the EPA.

At present there are no facilities in NSW that accept hazardous radioactive waste. Generally, sealed radioactive sources that are of no further use can be disposed of by returning them to the source supplier or manufacturer, or sent overseas for recycling or reuse.

Radiation apparatus

Apparatus required to be licensed under the Regulation is required to be disposed of in accordance with the Act, the Regulation and the appropriate Codes of Practice. The owner must notify the EPA of the disposal using the relevant form.

Radiation apparatus not required to be licensed under the Regulation may be disposed of on the condition that prior to disposal the apparatus is made permanently inoperable.

23. Replacing an existing radiation source?

When changing an existing source you will need to ensure that it is added to the management licence.

The addition of any new source and the disposal of any existing source is carried out in accordance with the Act, the Regulation and any relevant Codes of Practice.

24. Is there any change to the type of apparatus that is regulated by the new management licence?

Yes. All ionising radiation apparatus (x-ray and gamma) now needs to be included on a management licence. This includes items such as baggage inspection equipment, cabinet x-rays, hand held XRF and industrial radiography apparatus. Existing apparatus will now have to be added to existing management licences and the appropriate fee paid.

25. Need more information?

Page last updated: 20 July 2016