About Us

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) is a statutory scheme administered by the Australian Government Department of Health. NICNAS was established in July 1990 under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (ICNA Act).

A range of state, territory and Commonwealth government agencies share regulatory responsibility for chemical safety in Australia, with each chemical being regulated according to its use, whether as a therapeutic good (e.g. medicine), veterinary medicine, pesticide, food additive or industrial chemical (which includes any chemical with a use not falling into one of the other categories).

Industrial chemicals include chemicals used in solvents, adhesives, plastics, paints, inks, fuels, or laboratory reagents, as well as in refrigeration, cosmetics and household cleaning.

Our role

NICNAS aids in the protection of the Australian people and the environment by assessing the risks of industrial chemicals and providing information to promote their safe use.

Our functions

Our priorities

NICNAS priorities are detailed in the Portfolio Budget Statements.

Our funding

NICNAS operates on a full cost recovery basis, with assessments of new chemicals charged on a fee for service basis, and all other activities funded by a levy (NICNAS Registration) on those who import or manufacture industrial chemicals in Australia. NICNAS finances are managed in accordance with the Department of Finance budget operating rules.

Our stakeholders

NICNAS recognises and values the importance of effective stakeholder engagement with our industry, community and other stakeholders who are regulatory partners.

Our structure

The NICNAS Director is a statutory office holder who has specific functions and powers under the Act and reports to the Assistant Minister for Health. Staff working on the scheme are employed by either the Department of Health or the Department of the Environment. Five program areas support the Scheme, with Principal Scientists playing an important leadership role in strengthening the scientific capability available to NICNAS.

Our performance

NICNAS is required to publish a performance report under the Australian Government's Regulator Performance Framework (the Framework). Introduced in October 2014, the Framework provides a common set of performance measures for increased accountability and greater transparency in the way regulators perform their role. It comprises six outcomes-based key performance indicators (KPIs) to articulate the Government's overarching expectations of regulator performance.

NICNAS has developed a series of qualitative and quantitative outputs and evidence based metrics to demonstrate its performance against the six KPIs and associated measures. The Framework will apply from 1 July 2015, with the first reporting period being the 2015-16 financial year.

NICNAS Metrics - PDF 106 KB
NICNAS Metrics - Word 28 KB

International standards and risk assessments

NICNAS applies the criteria for the adoption of international standards and risk assessments approved by the Minister for Health for use by Health portfolio regulators.

Contact us

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)

GPO Box 58
Sydney NSW 2001

Telephone  +61 2 8577 8800

Freecall 1800 638 528

Fax +61 2 8577 8888


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