Apply to confidentially list your chemical on the Inventory

Chemical data providers (including foreign entities): You cannot initiate an application on behalf of a certificate holder. Only certificate holders can start the confidential listing application form. Sign up (enrol) to NICNAS Business Services to provide chemical data for an application.

If you’re an assessment certificate holder whose chemical is due for Inventory listing (5 year non-listing period due to expire), you can apply online for your chemical to be added to the confidential Inventory. This means that your chemical’s name, CAS number and molecular formula will be confidential and not searchable on our website for 5 years.

If your chemical has been on the confidential Inventory for 5 years and the confidential listing period is due to expire, we will contact you as the date approaches on how to apply to relist your chemical.


Important information

  • A confidential Inventory listing does not mean the original notifier has exclusive introduction of the chemical in Australia. The chemical is still available to be imported or manufactured by any other business. If you want exclusivity, you must use provisions in Australia's intellectual property rights legislation (includes trade secrets and patents).
  • Your chemical will not automatically be listed on the confidential Inventory if you were previously granted an exemption from publication. You must still apply for confidential listing.
  • If you do not apply for confidential listing on the Inventory by the given due date we will automatically list your chemical on the public Inventory.
  • If we reject your application because it doesn’t meet the criteria, you may appeal the decision for review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If our decision is affirmed, we will list your chemical on the public Inventory.
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  • Who can apply

    Assessment certificate holders and holders of confidence who received a notification email about their chemical being due for listing on the Inventory.

    If multiple parties hold an assessment certificate for a chemical

    If there is more than one certificate holder for a chemical (joint or other certificate holders), any certificate holder can apply for confidential listing.

  • Information you must provide

    Chemical details

    Chemical name is mandatory (CAS name preferred).

    CAS number, molecular formula and other names are optional.

    You have the option of providing these details yourself (as the assessment certificate holder), or nominating another party to provide the information.

    If another party is submitting information about your chemical’s identity, they must sign up to NICNAS Business Services as a chemical data provider before you apply for confidential listing. Your chemical data provider can be Australian or international.

    Publication of the chemical on other chemical inventories or databases

    You must indicate whether your chemical is publicly available on other Australian or international chemical databases. An example is a database of an overseas regulatory body. You must also tell us if your chemical has been granted confidential status in other jurisdictions.

    Evidence to meet the commercial and public interest criteria

    We apply a statutory test that weighs up commercial and public interests before deciding whether to grant confidentiality.

    Read about the commercial and public interest criteria of the statutory test

    Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

    You must provide a copy of the current Australian SDS in your application.

  • When you can apply

    We’ll send you a notification email before your chemical is due for Inventory listing and you will have the option to apply for confidential listing.

  • How to apply

    Click on the link in your notification email and respond to the question asking if you’d like to list your chemical publicly or confidentially. Select yes then complete and submit the form to apply for confidential listing.

    If another party is providing the chemical information

    In the application form you must provide your chemical data provider’s details in relation to their NICNAS Business Services enrolment:

    • NIC ID number
    • Contact person’s first name
    • Contact person’s last name

    You must contact your chemical data provider and ask them to give you these details as we cannot give you this information. If they don’t have this information, they can get them by signing up to NICNAS Business Services.

    Once you’ve entered their details, verify your chemical data provider by clicking Verify. We will contact them and ask them to submit their information through NICNAS Business Services. Your chemical data provider must enter the details and submit the form.

  • Example of a successful confidential listing application

    This example is a guideline for making a successful confidential Inventory application including what information we rely on in the decision making process.

    Information you give us

    • Completed online application form
    • CAS number search results from the Chemlist database
    • CAS number search results from Google
    • Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

    Additional information we consider

    Relevant assessment report (eg STD/000 dated XX February 2009) including information exempted from publication.

    Facts we establish

    Using the above information, we establish the following:

    1. The chemical's identity for example, we identify the chemical as a hardener for two-part epoxy resin.
    2. The applicant advises that the chemical and/or product are not available for public use.
    3. The applicant submits that the chemical's use and estimated import volume since the original notification.
    4. The chemical is classified as a dangerous good under the UN Guidelines (UN 2735)
    5. The applicant advise that the chemical has not been publicly identified on overseas inventories.
    6. The applicant advises that the chemical has been granted confidential status under the Toxic Substances Control Act (US EPA).
    7. The applicant submits that the identity of the chemical is protected through treating manufacturing instructions as commercial in confidence and with a need to know basis. The chemical is not identified on the any SDS, technical data sheet or other public document (commercial name is recorded).
    8. The applicant advises that it would be difficult to reverse engineer the chemical from the commercial product.
    9. The applicant advises that the name of the commercial product appears in some patents, but the notified chemical has not been described or covered by any patents.
    10. The applicant has estimated the loss of competitive advantage as >$5 million* if the chemical is listed on the public Inventory, and provided a discussion of how that figure was calculated.
    11. The applicant advises that the product holds 70%* of the market in Australia for the particular use.
    12. The applicant estimates it could lose up to 60%* of its market share if the chemical’s details are made public, and provided a discussion of how that figure was calculated.
    13. The chemical is not considered to pose a risk to the environment based on its reported use pattern.
    14. There is moderate concern for occupational health and safety under the conditions of the chemical’s occupational use.
    15. There is negligible concern to public health based on the chemical’s reported use pattern.

    How we consider the application

    We use the above facts to confirm that the application has met required criteria.

    Criteria How the criteria has been met
    The applicant has established relevant commercial interests
    • The company developed and introduced the chemical
    • The company has put in place measures to protect the confidentiality of the chemical's idenity
    • the company's product accounts for 70%* of the Australian market in the product category
    The applicant has demonstrated that the publication of some or all of the chemical's particulars could reasonably be expected to prejudice substantially the commercial interest of the applicant
    • The applicant has estimated the loss of competitive advantage at >$5million* and described how they think a competitor will use the chemical’s identity to the applicant’s disadvantage, which could result in a loss of up to 60%* of market share.
    • The applicant provided a detailed discussion of its estimated market share loss if the chemical’s particulars are published.

    Does the prejudice to the applicant’s commercial interest outweigh the public interest in disclosure of the chemical’s particulars?

    The company has identified that the chemical’s use would reduce the need to use product formulations that are high in volatile organic compounds, which is of benefit to the public and the environment.

    There is low public exposure to the chemical and, based on the use pattern described, there is negligible concern about public health. The notified chemical is not considered to pose a risk to the environment. The applicant has advised that there has been no increase to the import volume of the chemical and the release levels have not changed.

    *The figures for business dollar value and market share loss provided in this example should not be taken to mean all applications which disclose those exact or similar quantum losses will be successful.

  • Example of an unsuccessful confidential listing application

    Applications for a confidential Inventory listing will be rejected where:

    1. There is deficiency in relevant information provided in the application. In this regard the applicant will be given the opportunity to provide missing information.
    2. There is no evidence the applicant has a commercial interest.
    3. The applicant has not shown that their commercial interest would be substantially prejudiced by the publication of the information
    4. Where the substantial prejudice to the applicant's commercial interest does not outweigh the public interest in the publication of the information.

    This example illustrates circumstances where a confidential Inventory application will be rejected.  Rejected applications can be appealed.

    Information submitted by applicant

    • Completed online application form
    • CAS number search results from the Chemlist database
    • CAS number search results from Google
    • Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

    Additional information we consider

    Relevant assessment report (eg STD/000 dated XX February 2009) including information about exempted from publication.

    Facts we establish

    Using the above information, we establish the following:

    • The chemical is used as a surfactant in detergent products for industrial use.
    • Originally the product was not sold to the general public, though the public could be exposed as a result of accidental spillage during chemical transport. Since June last year, the applicant has been marketing the detergent product to consumers as well as industrial users.
    • The chemical is not classified as hazardous under the NOHSC Approved criteria for classifying hazardous substances but is classified under the Globally harmonized system for classification and labelling of chemicals as Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
    • Based on the changed use-pattern, the chemical could pose a risk to the environment.
    • There is low concern for occupational health and safety under the conditions of the chemicals occupational use.
    • There is negligible concern to public health based on the chemicals reported use pattern.
    • The chemical has not been publicly identified on overseas inventories.
    • The applicant has in place significant measures to protect the identity and manufacturing process of the chemical.
    • The chemical would be difficult to identify from analysis of the product in which it is used (reverse engineer).
    • Manufacturing the chemical uses a unique proprietary process, making it difficult for third parties to produce it.
    • The chemical is included in an active patent, but it is not identified in the patent.
    • The applicant values the global business in the chemical at a total of US $15 million*.
    • The chemical is not manufactured in Australia.
    • The volume of the chemical introduced into Australia has decreased by 40%* since the chemical's introduction.
    • The applicant will provide the chemical's identity if requested by a medical practitioner or a Poisons Information Centre.

    How we consider the application

    Criteria  
    The applicant has established a relevant commercial interest. Yes
    • The company developed and introduced the chemical.
    • The company has put in place measures to protect the confidentiality of the chemicals identity.
    • The company values its global business in the chemical at $US15 million*.
    Has the applicant demonstrated that the publication of some or all of the chemicals particulars could reasonably be expected to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of the applicant? No

    The applicant:

    • has estimated the value of the chemical to the business at US$15 million* and states that releasing the chemicals particulars would result in a substantial loss of market share.
    • did not provide any evidence to support these assertions.
    • did not provide data on the estimated loss of market share nor data on current market share were made available, so a consideration of loss of market share compared with actual market share could not be made.
    • stated that import volume into Australia has decreased, but no data was provided on whether global sales have decreased, and it cannot be determined whether the decrease in Australia is indicative of a global decrease in sales or is limited to Australia only. Noting the decline in import volume since the chemical was first introduced, the uncertain quantum of commercial loss and the lack of data on global sales, the applicant has not demonstrated that publication of some or all of the chemicals particulars could reasonably be expected to prejudice substantially its commercial interests.

    Does the prejudice to the applicant's commercial interest outweigh the public interest in disclosure of the chemical's particulars?

    Not applicable

    The company has not satisfied the second arm of the statutory test therefore it is not necessary to consider whether prejudice to the applicant's commercial interest outweigh the public interest in disclosure of the chemical's particulars.

    *Applicants should note that the figures for business dollar value and market share loss provided in this example should not be taken to mean all applications which disclose those exact or similar quantum losses will be unsuccessful.

  • After you submit your application

    We’ll contact you if we require further information and when we have processed your application. You’ll be able to track and view the outcome of your application online through NICNAS Business Services.

    If your application is approved

    Your chemical will be confidentially listed (or relisted) in the Inventory for 5 years. It will not be searchable on our website during this time.

    We’ll contact you before the 5 year confidential listing period expires and you can apply for relisting. If you do not reapply before the given due date, your chemical will be listed on the public Inventory and searchable on our website.

    Note: any business with a genuine intention to manufacture or import a chemical into Australia can make a request to search the confidential Inventory.

    If your application is rejected/not approved

    Your chemical will be listed on the public Inventory and searchable on our website.

    If you are unsatisfied with our decision, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review. An application for review to the AAT must be lodged within 28 days of the decision. Your chemical will not be listed in the public Inventory until an AAT review is finalised.

  • Fees

    We will process your application after we receive payment.

    Inventory fees

    Description

    Fee (AUD) from 1 August 2019
    (GST does not apply)

    Confidential listing of a new industrial chemical

    $4,080

    Application to retain confidential listing (confidential relisting)

    $4,080

    If another party is paying the invoice

    The invoice payer must be enrolled in NICNAS Business Services. In the application form you must provide the payer’s:

    • NIC ID number
    • Contact person’s first name
    • Contact person’s last name

    You must contact your invoice payer and ask them to give you these details as we cannot give you this information.

    Once you’ve entered their details, click Verify. We’ll send them a notification email and they will be able to view and download the invoice online through NICNAS Business Services.

Last update 17 June 2019