Removal of non-industrial chemicals from the NICNAS Inventory
Deadline to review the list and comment on the removal of any non-industrial chemicals is March 31, 2020
23 March 2020
In May of 2015, the Australian Government announced its intention to implement reforms to the way in which industrial chemicals are regulated. The reforms are intended to streamline the process of assessing industrial chemicals to reduce the regulatory burden and to make regulatory effort more proportionate to risk.
The Industrial Chemicals Act, which was passed by Parliament in February of 2019 and received Royal Assent in March of 2019, creates a new framework for the regulation of imported or manufactured industrial chemicals. The new scheme, referred to as the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme, or AICIS, will replace the current National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme, referred to as NICNAS, on 01 July 2020.
The legislation is contained in the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 (the Primary Act), the Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules (the General Rules), and the Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines (the Categorisation Guidelines).
Section 80 of the Industrial Chemicals Act mandates that the new inventory must only contain industrial chemicals. Currently, the government is working to update the Inventory by removing non-industrial chemicals from the Inventory before the new scheme starts.
Definition of industrial chemical according to the Industrial Chemicals Act:
- For the purposes of this Act, industrial chemical means any of the following:
- a chemical element that has an industrial use;
- a compound or complex of a chemical element that has an industrial use;
- a UVCB substance that has an industrial use;
- a chemical released from an article where the article has an industrial use;
- a naturally‑occurring chemical that has an industrial use;
- any other chemical or substance prescribed by the rules for the purposes of this paragraph that has an industrial use.
The government is working to remove any chemicals that are not, or likely have not ever been, industrial chemicals and/or those that have been used solely as an agricultural chemical, a veterinary chemical, a medicine or therapeutic, or a food or food additive, as these chemicals are regulated by other agencies.
What do you need to do now?
The Australian Government has prepared a list of chemicals on the NICNAS Inventory that have been flagged as not having an industrial use, and these will need to be removed. Any importers, manufacturers, or users of the chemicals on the list are requested to advise the government if, to their knowledge, the listed chemicals have an industrial use.
The government is requesting that this information be provided by 31 March 2020. The preferred method to provide this information is via an online form. After 31 March 2020, the government will consider all information received, remove any chemical without an industrial use from the Inventory, and publish a list of these chemicals.
Do you have questions about this topic, the changes being implemented to NICNAS/AICIS or a related topic? Contact our experts at Intertek, we're here to help!