Site inspections

NICNAS conducts site inspections to:

  • monitor compliance with the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (ICNA Act), and
  • investigate suspected or reported breaches of the ICNA Act.

Inspections are conducted by:

  • Inspectors appointed by the Director, NICNAS and/or
  • Officers of the Public Service of a State or Territory who are performing the functions of a NICNAS inspector.

To verify compliance with the ICNA Act or regulations an inspector can enter any premises with the consent of the occupier to:

  • search the premises
  • take photographs, or make sketches of the premises or any substance or thing at the premises
  • take and keep samples of any substance at the premises
  • inspect any record or document kept at the premises
  • remove or make copies of any such record or statement.

An inspector may apply to a magistrate for a warrant to enter a premises if consent is not provided by the occupier of the premises.

NICNAS inspectors will inspect a site if they reasonably believe:

  • an industrial chemical or cosmetic is being manufactured
  • an imported or manufactured industrial chemical or a cosmetic is being stored, processed or used
  • the site contains records about industrial chemicals.

Search and seizure provisions

Where the inspector has reasonable grounds for suspecting there may be evidence on any premises of an offence against the Act, the inspector may:

  • with the consent of the occupier of the premises, search the premises and seize evidence
  • without the consent of the occupier of the premises, obtain a warrant and search the premises and seize evidence.

Items seized by inspectors under search and seizure provisions of the ICNA Act (including samples, records and other documents), may be kept until investigations/proceedings are concluded.


All offences under the ICNA Act are potentially prosecutable. Where serious non-compliance is identified NICNAS may provide a brief of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). The decision to prosecute an offender resides with the CDPP.

Last update 29 July 2018