Speaking at ChemCon held on June 23, 2022, Nick Zovko from Chemistry Australia emphasized that the transitional period for exemptions that were granted under the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) will expire on August 31 of 2022 and it won’t be extended. That is to say, from September 1, 2022, enterprises cannot manufacture or import industrial chemicals under any of the NICNAS exemptions. Relevant enterprises need to categorize the manufactured/imported industrial chemicals into 1 of the 5 introduction categories under the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) and comply with the corresponding obligations.
The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) was implemented on July 1, 2020 and replaced the NICNAS as the overarching regulatory framework for the introduction of industrial chemicals into the country (CL news).
The NICNAS exemptions include:
Industrial chemicals for R&D or analysis (importation only) – not more than 100 kg in a 12-month period;
Industrial chemicals for R&D or analysis (manufactured in a fixed apparatus in a specific location);
Industrial chemicals for non-cosmetic use (no unreasonable risk) – not more than 100 kg in a 12-month period;
Industrial chemicals for cosmetic use (no unreasonable risk) – not more than 100 kg in a 12-month period; and
Industrial chemicals for cosmetic use (no unreasonable risk and non-hazardous chemical) – not more than 1% concentration in a cosmetic.
What you need to do if you have been introducing chemicals under the NICNAS exemptions between July 1, 2020 and August 31, 2022?
- Comply with the record-keeping obligations for chemicals introduced under NICNAS exemptions1;
- Submit an annual declaration2 (choose “reported introduction” for the chemicals introduced under NICNAS exemptions when select the introduction categories that apply to the chemicals introduced during the registration year);
- Categorize the chemical introduction (manufacture/importation)3 under the AICIS as listed introduction, exempted introduction, reported introduction, assessed introduction, or commercial evaluation introduction, and comply with the corresponding obligations (for introduction after August 31, 2022 to be authorized).
In order to show how to work out which introduction category under the AICIS applies to their industrial chemicals, the Australian Government released a video tutorial4 for enterprises on July 6, 2022. Different introduction categories have different registration or reporting requirements. It should be noted that categorizing an introduction of industrial chemicals takes time and resource, therefore, it’s better to act immediately and do not delay.
Below are the FAQs published on the AICIS website to facilitate your understanding of the transitional provisions. More details can be accessed here.