• April 10, 2019

Australia | Act to establish a national regulatory scheme for industrial chemicals

Regulation: Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 No. 12, 2019

This Act establishes the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme, and an Executive Director, to regulate the introduction (manufacture or import) of industrial chemicals.

A chemical is an industrial chemical to the extent that it is used other than for agricultural, veterinary or therapeutic purposes, or in food or feed (which are regulated by other schemes).

Introducers must be registered for a registration year (which begins on 1 September). A registration charge must be paid for registration. Penalties apply if a person introduces an industrial chemical when not registered.

Introductions must also comply with the requirements of a category of introduction, which are based on the level of risk to human health and the environment from the introduction.

Lower risk introductions (exempted and reported introductions) can be made without being assessed by the Executive Director. However, record keeping and reporting obligations apply.

Medium‑to‑high risk introductions require an assessment certificate issued by the Executive Director and must comply with the terms of the certificate. A person can also apply for commercial evaluation authorisations and the Minister can issue exceptional circumstances authorisations.

Industrial chemicals covered by an assessment certificate are listed on the Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals after 5 years. However, applications can be made for early listing and industrial chemicals can be listed in certain other circumstances. Any registered person can introduce an industrial chemical that is listed on the Inventory but must comply with the terms of the Inventory listing and record keeping and reporting requirements.

The Executive Director may initiate evaluations of industrial chemicals, or matters relating to industrial chemicals. Evaluations may result in changes to assessment certificates or Inventory listings or recommendations being made about the introduction and use of industrial chemicals.

The Executive Director is required to publish assessment statements, evaluation statements and other information under this Act. Applications can be made by any person for confidential business information not to be published.

This Act also contains provisions for monitoring and enforcement and provisions implementing Australia’s obligations under certain international agreements.

Link to Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 No. 12, 2019


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