David Dwyer

On July 1, 2020 NICNAS has now become AICIS (Australia Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme).

In this article I look at some of the differnces and some important answers for those companies that already have a NICNAS registration.

If you have a current registration it will have been transferred on 1 July 2020 to the new scheme. The registration year is the same in the new scheme (1 September to 31 August). Registration and renewals will continue to be online.

You can still introduce industrial chemicals on the new Inventory if you meet the terms of listing and you’ve registered with NICNAS. All industrial chemical currently on the Inventory will be migrated to the new Inventory. They’ll have the same terms of listing with an improved format.

Below is an overview for introducing new lower risk chemicals. AICIS is shifting their focus to assessment of higher risk introductions and concentrating more on post-introduction monitoring rather than pre-introduction assessments for lower risk chemicals. This will make it easier to bring in low and very low risk chemicals.

You can introduce chemicals on the Inventory — called listed introductions — without telling AICIS , if you’re registered with us and you comply with any terms attached to the chemicals (same as the current situation under NICNAS).

For chemicals NOT on the Inventory (unlisted introduction), the process will change. You will need to work out whether your introduction is very low risk, low risk or medium-high risk for human health and the environment using the guidance and criteria that we’ll publish.

If your chemical is listed with a condition of introduction or use, you’ll need to check and compare your introduction against the Inventory listing to make sure you are covered.

If your chemical is listed with a condition of introduction or use, you’ll need to check and compare your introduction against the Inventory listing to make sure you are covered.

If your introduction has protection of CBI at the time we change over to the new scheme on 1 July 2020. You’ll keep this protection. The information will not be published.

Introduction of chemicals on the Inventory (listed introductions)
If the chemicals you’re introducing do NOT have any obligations associated with them, you can continue importing or manufacturing after 1 July 2020 without any change.

If the chemicals you’re introducing DO have obligations associated with them, you can continue importing or manufacturing after 1 July 2020 without any change. Remember that you must meet the obligations specified on the Inventory for each chemical.

Introduction of chemicals not on the Inventory (unlisted introductions)
If you’re currently introducing chemicals using a NICNAS exemption category, you can continue without any change until 31 August 2022 provided you comply with all of the exemption criteria and obligations. From 1 September 2022, you must categorise your introduction to make sure it is authorised under AICIS.

For a full overview of the changes refer to https://www.industrialchemicals.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-06/Transcript%20NICNAS%20to%20AICIS%20%5BPDF%20294KB%5D.pdf.