About the Reforms

Last update 1 December 2016

Reforms questions and answers

Consultation update

Thank you for your ongoing involvement and interest in the NICNAS Reforms.

Submissions on Consultation Paper 4: Implementing reforms to the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) are now closed.

The Department of Health is currently considering stakeholder feedback on the proposed legislative framework.

Subject to Government agreement and Parliamentary consideration, the framework is expected to take effect from July 2018, and some changes to the existing scheme could take effect in advance of July 2018.

The Department of Health will advise when further consultation will take place on delegated legislation and guidance material.

Further information

Contact the NICNAS Reforms team about the technical detail of the Reforms:

Phone:   02 8577 8837
Email: Reforms team

Aim of the reforms

The reforms to NICNAS aim to reduce regulatory burden on the industrial chemicals sector by streamlining assessment processes and refocusing assessment effort on higher risk industrial chemicals, while also ensuring that Australia's robust safety standards are maintained.

The reform initiative was announced in May 2015.

The reforms involve:

  • rebalancing pre- and post-market regulatory requirements to match the indicative risk profile of a new chemical
  • streamlining the existing risk assessment process for new and existing chemicals
  • greater utilisation of international assessment materials
  • more appropriate compliance tools

Key links

Cost of implementation

The Australian Government has decided that the cost of implementation of reforms will be recovered from industry in line with the Commonwealth's cost recovery guidelines (July 2014). Costs will be recovered over a 7 year period. The majority of the costs will be recovered after the reforms have delivered a significantly reduced regulatory cost environment.

An increase in registration charges started in the 2015-16 registration year (registration charges due 31 August 2015). We consulted on options to recover the costs of implementing the reforms through NICNAS registration charge increases. Public comments on the discussion paper and a summary of these comments, with NICNAS responses, are also available.