Did you know that the transition period for exemptions under NICNAS expires 31 August 2022?

Importers and manufacturers will soon need to categorize their industrial chemicals into one of the introduction categories set out under AICIS

30 June 2022

The Transitional Period under the Transitional Provisions of the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) will be ending soon for exemptions that were granted under the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS).

This means that an importer or manufacturer may continue to introduce chemicals under the NICNAS exemptions until 31 August 2022; however, the transition period will not be extended.

This applies to the following NICNAS exemptions:

  • Industrial chemicals for R&D (less than 100 kg);
  • Industrial chemicals with no unreasonable risk in cosmetics (less than 100 kg);
  • Industrial chemicals with no unreasonable risk in non-cosmetics (less than 100 kg); and
  • Industrial chemicals which are non-hazardous in cosmetics (less than 1%).

Currently, introductions made under these arrangements fall under the AICIS reported introductions. Importers and manufacturers must keep records to prove that their chemical introduction meets the relevant exemption provision criteria.

After 31 August 2022, importers and manufacturers will need to categorize any industrial chemicals into 1 of the 5 AICIS introduction categories under the current schemeand meet the requirements for the relevant introduction category.

The AICIS sets out the categories of the introduction of industrial chemicals based on the level of risk to human health and the environment. It also sets out requirements that must be met for each category.

The categories of introduction are:

  • Listed introductions
  • Exempted introductions (very low-risk)
  • Reported introductions (low-risk)
  • Assessed introductions (medium- to high-risk)
  • Commercial evaluation introductions

To introduce a new industrial chemical in Australia, companies must register their business before import/manufacture, and the chemical being introduced must meet the requirements of a category of introduction based on the level of risk to human health and the environment. Additionally, a manufacturer or importer of an industrial chemical must register themselves with the Register of Industrial Chemical Introducers before introducing an industrial chemical during that year.

Low-risk introductions (i.e., exempted and reported introductions) can be made without assessment. Medium- to high-risk introductions must be authorized and require an assessment certificate issued by the regulatory authority. Manufacturers and importers must work out the indicative human health risk and environmental risk using the matrix bands, which will provide the appropriate introduction category.

The criteria to introduce a chemical under the NICNAS exemptions and the AICIS exempted introduction category are not the same. For example, there are no AICIS exemptions for the introduction of low-volume (100 kg or less) chemicals and chemicals with less than 1% concentration in cosmetics. The category of introduction will depend on factors such as the type of chemical being introduced, the volume of introduction, the use scenarios, the concentration of substance at introduction and at end-use, and the substance's hazard profile.

Different introduction categories have different reporting and/or registration needs. Understanding these will reduce the risk of complications in the importation/manufacture of chemicals that are important to your markets in Australia. Categorizing an introduction takes time and resources, so do not delay.

Need Assistance?

Do you have questions about this topic, the requirements under AICIS, categorizing an introduction, or registering for an assessment certificate? Contact our experts at Intertek—we're here to help!

References:

Industrial Chemicals Transitional Act and Rules: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2019L01548

Industrial Chemicals Act 2019:  https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2021C00493

Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2019: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022C00255

Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines: https://www.industrialchemicals.gov.au/help-and-guides/guide-categorising-your-chemical-importation-and-manufacture

 

Kal Bening Intertek headshot

Kal Bening, 
Senior Regulatory Manager, Chemicals Group
Intertek Assuris

 

Today's expert blogger is Kal Bening. Kal is a Senior Regulatory Manager and has been at Intertek for 18 years. Working with numerous clients, Kal's primary focus and role include providing clients with timely and cost-effective regulatory strategies under the various new and existing chemical notification programs.  Her breadth of expertise centers around providing regulatory and scientific advice to clients to promote compliance with the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), and other similar initiatives around the world in countries such as China and South Korea.