Hints for using the Inventory

Type in a chemical name or CAS number in the search bar above to search the public Inventory.

Industrial chemical importers and manufacturers are required by law to check whether their chemicals and product ingredients are on the Inventory. You can search the Inventory but you cannot download the full list of chemicals.

The Inventory contains around 40,000 chemicals but usually does NOT include:

See the following options on how to search the Inventory.

1. Search a chemical's CAS number

It is best to search the Inventory using a chemical's CAS number. The reason for this is a chemical may be known by many different names but it only has 1 unique CAS number.

Learn more about CAS Registry Numbers

You must use the correct CAS format with hyphens and discard any zero (0) that might be at the start of the first block. For example, if searching for formaldehyde:

Correct search:     50-00-0
Incorrect search: 050-00-0

Example  of Inventory search results using this CAS number

Where to find a CAS number
  • Request a CAS RN search from the Chemical Abstracts Service (fee applies) - you will need to provide them with information such as a reliable chemical structure, a name (sometimes a trade name can be used). CAS also has a free search database for about 7,900 commonly used chemicals.
  • Internet search - sometimes an internet search will provide you with a CAS number.
  • Safety Data Sheets SDS often have a CAS number listed. You will need to contact the manufacturer or supplier.
  • Search online catalogues of chemical suppliers.

2. Search a chemical's CAS preferred name

If you do not have the CAS number your next best option is to search using the CAS name for the chemical.

3. Other ways to search for chemicals

Common names

Some common names for chemicals are on the Inventory but are restricted to the most commonly used chemicals. Your results will most likely be a very broad list of candidate chemicals.

Molecular formula

You can search by molecular formula e.g. C12H12N2O3, but you may get a very large number of results. Be as specific as possible in your search to get the most meaningful results.

Search results

Chemical found

If the chemical is on the Inventory, it will appear under the heading 'Inventory'. You may or may not also get a result under 'Assessments' which are links to our chemical assessment reports.

Go to What the Inventory will tell you

Chemical not found

If the chemical you are searching has an industrial use, there are several reasons why you might not find that  chemical on the Inventory.

Is the substance a natural substance or an alloy or a hydrate?

Naturally-occurring chemicals (extracted from natural sources in such a way that their chemistry won't have changed during the extraction process) do not need to be listed on the Inventory, instead they are deemed to be on the Inventory and can be imported/manufactured without notification.

Learn more about the definition of a naturally-occurring chemical

Mixtures, including alloys or hydrates, are not eligible for listing. They can be imported and/or manufactured without notification provided their component chemicals are on the Inventory.

Is the chemical on the confidential Inventory?

If there are no results in the public Inventory, you can apply to us to search the confidential Inventory. We will search the confidential Inventory if we are satisfied you are genuinely intending to manufacture and/or import a chemical.

Is the substance a new chemical?

An industrial chemical that is not on the Inventory is a new chemical unless it is exempt from notification. New industrial chemicals must be notified and assessed before being manufactured or imported into Australia.

International chemical databases

These international databases may provide useful chemical information.

Australian information

Last update 3 September 2019