Type of assessment
Once you have established you need to notify NICNAS of the new chemical you intend to import or manufacture (excluding a chemical introduced under exemption), you determine the most appropriate notification category.
Two broad categories exist for assessing a new chemical—permits and assessment certificates. To decide which to use, you need to consider:
- type of chemical
- amount you are introducing
- use of the chemical
- period of use
- your company's business needs and commitments.
You will need to apply for a permit for new chemicals which meet certain criteria. Having a permit essentially means:
- you are allowed to introduce fixed quantities of the chemical for the permit duration
- a notice of the permit will be published in the Chemical Gazette
- the chemical will not be added to the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS)
- a shorter assessment time and lower fees than for assessment certificates (see table below)
- you can renew your existing permit in certain circumstances (see Renewal of permits)
- for CUP, CEC and LVC permits, you will need to submit annual reports at the end of the registration year.
You will need to apply for an assessment certificate for chemicals that do not meet the permit criteria or where you prefer a certificate notification resulting in listing the chemical on the AICS.
There are two types: self-assessment and non self-assessment.
Having an assessment certificate essentially means:
- you are allowed to introduce the chemical
- brief facts about the identity of the notifier, and chemical's identity and key hazard, volume and use information on the chemical will be published in the Chemical Gazette and a public report will be made available on this website
- the chemical will eventually be added to the AICS.
Table: Comparison of permits and certificates
Assessment certificate issued
Permit issued with conditions stipulated, including duration and volume
Data requirements as per category
Reduced data requirements
Eventual listing on the AICS
No eventual listing on the AICS
Publication of a risk assessment report (with recommendations) on the NICNAS website
Publication of notice in the Chemical Gazette with summary details
Statutory timelines: 29–90 days
Shorter statutory timelines: 14–28 days
New chemical notification categories
The following table summarises all new chemical notification categories, providing information on outcome based on the chemical amount introduced. It also lists the duration of the certificate or permit and the assessment time frame.
Table: Summary of all new chemical notification categories
Chemical amount introduced
Duration of certificate or permit
Up to 2 years
Usually within 14 days
>100 but ≤1000 kg/yr1
Usually within 20 days
Early introduction permit (EIP)—this category accompanies Polymer of low concern (PLC), Limited (LTD) or Standard (STD)
As for PLC, LTD or STD
Until certificate issued, or permit rescinded
As for previous LVC, CEC, CUP, EOP
3 years (LVC/CUP/EOP) and up to 2 years (CEC)
20 days (LVC/EOP), and usually 28 days (CUP) and 14 days (CEC)
<10 tonne/yr3 for site limited chemicals
As for PLC, LTD or STD
As for PLC, LTD or STD
5 years from granting of original certificate
1 Low hazardous criteria apply
2 For STD, LTD and PLC, there are modular notification categories available, with reduced fees, where:
- Similar chemical: the notified chemical or polymer is similar to a chemical or polymer previously assessed by NICNAS, or
- Group Assessment: the notified chemical or polymer is being notified at the same time as a similar chemical or polymer , and for a similar use, or
- Approved Foreign Scheme: an assessment of the notified chemical in Canada (under a comparable schedule) is available, or
- Comparable Agency: an assessment of the notified chemical by:
- the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) or Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is available, or
- a chemicals notification and assessment scheme from the USA, EU (pre-REACH), Canada (where the criteria for the Approved Foreign Scheme category are not met) or OECD member country is available.
See Modular notification categories and Use of overseas assessments in the notification of new chemicals for more details.
3 Volume restriction does not apply to synthetic polymers with NAMW >1000 Da.
4Nanomaterials are not eligible for this certificate category.
Forms and fees
Last update 17 August 2017