Getting started checklist

Last update 17 February 2017

Four schemes make up the Australian Government's regulatory framework for chemicals. Each scheme focuses on a particular area of use. NICNAS regulates importers and manufacturers of industrial chemicals.

New to NICNAS?

Are you importing or manufacturing an industrial chemical or chemical product into Australia? This includes ingredients in cosmetics and ingredients in products for domestic use.

Use the checklist below to investigate and understand your obligations.


The basics...


Do I need to register with NICNAS?

This online questionnaire will help you understand your obligations and help you to determine if you need to register with us.

Do I need to register?

Most importers and/or manufacturers of industrial chemical products must register their business with us regardless of the volume of the industrial chemical.

This also applies to importers of:

  • bulk chemicals
  • packaged cosmetics
  • consumer, industrial and commercial products.

This does not apply to importers of manufactured articles.

Go to our Register your business section


Chemical business checklist

The Department of Industry Innovation & Science provides a checklist for businesses that use or import chemicals. It provides an overview of the chemical regulatory landscape in Australia. The checklist covers many of the issues you need to be aware of if you are manufacturing or importing chemicals.

Chemical business checklist


Find a chemical—explore AICS

All importers and/or manufacturers of industrial chemicals must check their chemicals against the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).  For best results, search using a CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) number.

If the chemical is on AICS, you can import and/or manufacture it without advising NICNAS, as long as you meet any conditions of use or secondary notification requirements. If your intended use falls outside conditions of use, you need to notify us.

Learn more about conditions of use

Read the definition of secondary notification

Follow these steps for using and understanding AICS


Notifying NICNAS

If you intend to commercially import or manufacture a new industrial chemical (that is, a chemical that is not listed on AICS), or a product containing a new chemical, you need to first check whether it must be notified to NICNAS.

Understand your obligations by completing this online questionnaire to determine if you need to notify us about a chemical introduced into Australia.

Do I need to notify NICNAS?

Go to our Notify your chemical section


Cosmetic or a therapeutic good?

Most ingredients in cosmetic products are regulated as industrial chemicals, including ingredients commonly referred to as 'natural ingredients'.

This online questionnaire will help you to establish if your product is a cosmetic regulated by NICNAS.

Is my product a cosmetic?

Go to our Cosmetics and Soaps section to learn more about

  • cosmetics
  • therapeutic goods
  • naturally occurring chemicals
  • soap and soap making
  • the Cosmetic Standard
  • sunscreens
  • labelling cosmetic ingredients.

We do not prohibit or ban the use of chemicals in cosmetics but we do play a role in restricting their use.

Read more about prohibited or restricted chemicals


Check any extra requirements for your product

There may be extra manufacturing requirements around your product or ingredients in your product, including:


Who does what?

We are not responsible for the following uses of chemicals. Click or tap on the heading to see the scheme you need to contact for these uses.

  • Pesticides, agricultural products, veterinary medicine, food for animals, pool sanitisers

    Chemicals used solely for the following purposes are not regulated by NICNAS.

    These chemicals are regulated by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

    • Agriculture, including household gardening products
    • Pesticides, including household products such as:
      • personal insect repellents
      • insect sprays
      • weed killers
    • Pool sanitising chemicals such as:
      • Chlorine
      • Bromine
      • Algaecides
    • Veterinary medicine, pet food and livestock feed
  • Medicines, medical devices, sterilants, disinfectants, primary sunscreens

    Chemicals used for the following purposes are not regulated by NICNAS.

    They are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

    • Medical devices (including sterilants and disinfectants) & in vitro diagnostic devices (IVDs)
    • Medicines (includes prescription, over-the-counter and complementary/alternative medicines)
    • Biologicals
    • Primary sunscreen products
    • Sterilants and disinfectants.
  • Food for humans

    Chemicals used for the following purposes are not regulated by NICNAS.

    They are regulated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

    • Food for humans
    • Food additivies