Early regulatory changes affecting chemical importers and manufacturers

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Early regulatory changes now in effect

Whilst the new scheme will begin on 1 July 2020, early regulatory changes are now in effect under the current scheme (NICNAS). These changes will reduce regulatory burden for introducers of some lower risk chemicals such as polymers of low concern.

The following changes are now in effect:

The following is a summary of changes and with links to the relevant information pages.

Contact us if you have a question about any of these changes

No annual reports for permits and self-assessed assessment certificates

Annual reports are not required to be submitted for the following permits and self-assessment certificates:

  • commercial evaluation permits
  • low volume permits
  • controlled use permits
  • self-assessment — PLCs (SAPLC)
  • self-assessment — non-hazardous chemicals
  • self-assessment — non-hazardous polymers.

Shorter time frames for Approved Foreign Scheme assessments

The time frame for assessments under the Approved Foreign Scheme category will be reduced from 90 days to 60 days. This applies to new chemical certificate applications under the current Approved Foreign Scheme categories for Limited and Standard certificates.


Polymers of low concern are exempt from notification

PLCs can now be introduced without notification.

Find out more about PLC changes here


Expansion of the PLC criteria

New criteria for PLCs are now in effect. These new criteria mean more polymers will meet the definition of a PLC and thus a greater number will be exempt from notification. The changes to the PLC criteria are:

  • removal of the molecular weight specification for polyesters
  • addition of chemicals to the prescribed reactants list for polyesters
  • alignment of molecular weight boundaries with those used in USA
  • alignment of the moderate and high concern functional groups with those used in USA and Canada
  • restrictions on perfluorinated polymers so they cannot be PLCs

Go to our revised PLC section for more information on PLC criteria

Use our online questionnaire to see if your polymer is a PLC


Change to synthetic polymer definition

The definition of new synthetic polymer has changed. References to 'at least 2%' in the current definition have been amended to read 'greater than 2%.  This provides greater international alignment with the USA and Canada.

A new synthetic polymer is now defined as a synthetic polymer:

  • that includes a combination of monomers and other reactive components each representing greater than 2% by weight, being a combination not listed in the Inventory; or
  • with a weight greater than 2% is attributable to a monomer or other reactive component that is not listed in the Inventory as a component of a synthetic polymer.

Removal of SDS and labelling requirements for exempt cosmetics

Safety Data Sheets and labels no longer have to be provided if the cosmetic is introduced under the 'no unreasonable risk' category in volumes greater than 10kg per annum.

Go to the revised section on low volume cosmetics


If you have a question about the new scheme, please contact us.

Last update 8 April 2019