Applying for information to be exempt from publication

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How to apply
What information can be exempt from publication?
What is basic information? 
Application and review process
Hypothetical examples
Third party submissions

If you are providing information about a chemical to us and you do not want some of that information to be published, you must apply to the NICNAS Director for specified information to be exempt from publication.

Applying

You can either apply

Fees apply to cover the cost of processing your application.

Go to our fees page

See the list of forms that can be submitted with an exempt from publication application

AICS confidential listing applications

If you are applying for a previously assessed chemical to be listed (or maintained) in the confidential section of the chemical inventory, AICS, you should review the information on confidential listings.

What information can be exempt from publication?

Exempt information refers to information that is not included in publicly available versions of an assessment report or in notices in the Chemical Gazette. It allows introducers of chemicals to keep certain particulars about a chemical confidential (subject to statutory criteria being met).

Basic information

Information that is defined as ‘basic information’ cannot be granted exemption from publication. Basic information is defined under the ICNA Act (Section 5 of the Act) as:

(a)  the name or names by which the chemical is known to the public or is intended by its importer or manufacturer to be known
(b)  the chemical’s general uses
(c)  the precautions and restrictions to be observed in the manufacture, handling, storage, use and disposal of the chemical
(d)  recommendations arising from the assessment of the chemical under the ICNA Act that relate to disposing of the chemical and rendering it harmless
(e)  the procedures to be following in the event of an emergency involving the chemical
(f)   prescribed physical and chemical data about the chemical, not being data that would reveal the chemical’s composition
(g)  prescribed data relating to the health effects or the environmental effects of the chemical.

Prescribed data relevant to physical and chemical data (f) and health or environmental effects (g) are specified in Regulations 3 and 4 of the ICNA Regulations.

Preparing and submitting your application

For an application to succeed, the NICNAS Director (or the Director’s delegate) must be satisfied that:

  • you, the applicant, have a commercial interest in the specified information
  • that your commercial interests could reasonably be expected to be prejudiced by the publication of the information
  • prejudice to your commercial interests could be ‘substantial’ and
  • the prejudice outweighs the public interest in the publication of the information.

Your application must clearly specify the information that is requested to be exempt from publication and provide reasons (for each claim) supported by data and/or other evidence where available and relevant.

You must provide information in the application that addresses the commercial interest elements of the statutory test. Information addressing the public interest may also be provided.

See guidance on commercial interest criteria

See guidance on public interest criteria

Review of your application

Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by applying the statutory test, taking into account all reasoned arguments and information submitted.

Applications that relate to a new chemical assessment are generally not decided until the assessment is complete. However, a decision may be made sooner.

We will review your application to determine whether:

  • you have a commercial interest in the specified information
  • your commercial interest could be prejudiced substantially by the publication of the information and
  • the substantial prejudice to your commercial interest outweighs the public interest in the publication of the information.

You may be advised during the assessment period of any deficiencies in the application. You will be given the opportunity to comment and provide additional information if needed.

You can withdraw your application before a decision is made; a partial refund of the application fee may be possible.

We will notify you in writing if your application for exemption from publication is rejected.

You can ask for a review of our decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Read more about refunds

See guidance on appeals

Read more about decision making

See guidance and example of a successful application

See guidance and examples of unsuccessful or insufficient applications

Examples of exempt from publication applications

To help you consider your situation and to assist when preparing your application, we have prepared these hypothetical examples. Select any of these links to read the example scenario.

Third party submissions

At times you may need a third party to provide us with information in support of your notification or application.

Read more about third party submission guidelines and applications

Further information

If you have any questions about completing an exempt from publication application, please contact the New Chemicas team for assistance.

Last update 29 July 2018