Key information about the new scheme

As we head to the implementation date of 1 July 2020, we will publish all the guidance and rules you need to know about here to help you navigate the new scheme.

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There is now a new Australian industrial chemicals law – the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019. This law creates a new regulatory scheme for the importation and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia (to replace NICNAS) from 1 July 2020.

View the new Industrial Chemicals Act 2019

This law also gives effect to the ban on the use of new animal test data for ingredients solely used in cosmetics.

Find out more about the passage of this Act, including explanatory memoranda and amendments.


On this page:


Other legislation

There is also a new law which sets out the framework for managing the transition from the old scheme to the new scheme. This is the Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2019.

View the Transitional Provisions Act

There also three Industrial Chemicals Charges Acts authorising the imposition of charges on importers and manufacturers of industrial chemicals.

View the Industrial Chemicals Charges (Customs) Act 2019

View the Industrial Chemicals Charges (Excise) Act 2019

View the Industrial Chemicals Charges (General) Act 2019


Key documents

Draft General Rules

Download the draft General Rules [PDF 867 KB]
Published 9 March 2018 for a 12 week consultation period.

Current status — next draft under development

The draft Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2018 (General Rules) set out the proposed details for the regulation of the import and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia under the new scheme. The General Rules will be a legislative instrument (delegated legislation) and form part of new legal framework for the new scheme. This draft was published for consultation in 2018, before the Industrial Chemicals Act passed parliament. The next draft of these Rules is currently being developed.

The General Rules include details on:

  • categorisation of industrial chemical introductions – what is exempted or reported
  • criteria for Commercial Evaluation Authorisations
  • reporting requirements
  • record keeping requirements
  • prescribed bodies for consultation
  • confidential business information (CBI) notifications and applications
  • international agreements

The General Rules frequently refer to the 'Guidelines'. These are the Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines which must be read in conjunction with the General Rules.

In April 2019 we consulted on some specific changes we need to make to the draft General Rules because of amendments contained in the IC Act 2019 — read more about this consultation here.


Draft Categorisation Guidelines

Download the draft Categorisation Guidelines [PDF 1.6 MB]
Published 9 March 2018 for a 12 week consultation.

Current status — next draft under development

The Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines (the Guidelines) contain technical details and requirements that industrial chemical importers and manufacturers need to use to categorise their chemicals under the new scheme. This draft was published for consultation in 2018, before the Industrial Chemicals Act passed parliament. The next draft of these Guidelines is currently being developed.

The Guidelines include details on:

  • technical definitions for certain terms used in the General Rules
  • technical criteria for internationally-assessed introductions
  • information required to work out which hazard bands don’t apply to your introduction
  • additional requirements for specified classes of introduction

Draft Transitional Rules

Download the draft Transitional Rules [PDF 587 KB]
Published 9 March 2018 for a 12 week consultation.

Current status — next draft under development

The draft Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Rules 2018 (Transitional Rules) will work together with the new Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2019 to provide the legal basis for managing the transition from the old scheme to the new scheme. This draft was published for consultation in 2018, before the Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act passed parliament. The next draft of these Rules is currently being developed.

The Transitional Rules covers how the following certificates, permits and processes under the current laws will operate once the new laws are in effect:

  • Assessment certificates
  • Commercial evaluation permits
  • Low volume permits
  • Controlled use permits
  • Early introduction permits
  • Secondary notifications
  • Application fees payable under the previous laws
  • Inventory
  • Information, reporting and confidentiality
  • Movements authorised under section 106 of the previous laws

Step by step 'how to' categorise chemicals under the new scheme

NOTE: These case studies were developed to help people during our consultation on the draft Rules and Guidelines in 2018. There will be changes to some details; however, they are still a useful tool.  We will update these case studies once the Rules and Guidelines for the new scheme are finalised.

What is your 'introduction category'?

These case studies walk people through the (proposed) categorisation process. Under the new scheme, the first stage of introducing a chemical, not listed on the Inventory, will be to 'categorise' it.

You need to consider a chemicals (indicative) risk to human health in combination with the (indicative) risk to the environment to work out your introduction category. We call this 'categorisation'.

We cover typical scenarios for introducing cosmetic and non-cosmetic new chemicals. They show how chemical importers or manufacturers (introducers) would categorise chemicals under the new scheme.

These case studies walk you through a 6 step process.

Info graphic showing the 6 steps to categorise your industrial chemical

About the case studies

  • 6 x different scenarios, to cover a range of chemicals and situations.
  • Checklists of the information you will need for categorisation.
  • Summary of  the steps required to categorise the chemical introduction.
  • Walk through each steps 1-6, including:
    • how to work out the indicative risk for human health and environment
    • how to work out the introduction category.
  • Finally, we explain what happens next and give a brief comparison of the same introduction under the current legislation.

Download a case study

Non-cosmetics case studies

Cosmetics case studies


Click here if you wish to view archived consultations and documents

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Last update 2 July 2019