Assessment certificate categories

NICNAS to AICIS — transitional arrangements assessment  matters

This page explains the 2 types of assessment certificate categories:

Types of applications you can ask us to fully assess

Polymer of low concern (PLC) introductions

There are 3 ways you can introduce a PLC into Australia. You must first meet our PLC criteria.

LTD introductions

LTDs are for chemicals fitting 1 of these categories:

  • small-volume chemicals, biopolymers, and low MW synthetic polymers (NAMW <1000 Da)—that is, chemicals to be imported or manufactured at a rate of up to 1 tonne/12-month period
  • site-limited chemicals, biopolymers, and low MW synthetic polymers (NAMW <1000 Da)—that is, chemicals restricted to their manufacturing site and manufactured at a rate of not more than 10 tonnes/12-month period
  • synthetic polymers with NAMW >1000 Da that do not meet the PLC criteria.

STD introductions

STDs are for chemicals, biopolymers and low MW synthetic polymers (NAMW<1000 Da) imported or manufactured at greater than 1 tonne/year that do not fulfill the requirements of any other category.

Extension of a current assessment certificate

Extension of a current assessment certificate may cover other companies intending to import or manufacture a notified chemical, where the holder of the original certificate agrees and as long as certain criteria are met.

Self-assessment certificate categories

Self-assessment certificate categories allow you to self-assess low regulatory concern chemicals against specified criteria and provide an assessment report which we screen and amend in consultation with you if necessary before publication.

The assessment time frame is shorter than for non self-assessment categories (28 days as opposed to 90 days) and the fees you pay are lower. Note, self-assessment certificates cannot be extended.

Self-assessment applications can be made for these categories of chemicals:

  • PLC introductions and
  • Non-hazardous chemicals or polymers

Non-hazardous chemicals or polymers

The onus is on you to demonstrate the non-hazardous nature of the chemical or polymer. You must gather data to demonstrate the non-hazardous nature, as outlined under the Act (see Legislation and regulations).

Note: Some chemicals are not eligible for self-assessment. These are:

  1. persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals and polymers.
  2. nanomaterials (see Guidance and requirements for notification of new chemicals that are industrial nanomaterials).


To ensure the robustness and integrity of the self-assessment process, you—as holder of a self-assessed assessment certificate—may be subject to NICNAS audits, since you are responsible for the content of the self-assessment report.

Under the Act, you must keep records to support statements made in, or in connection with, the certificate application, for 5 years from the date the certificate is issued.

Reduced fee options

Modular notification categories

NICNAS has a number of modular notification categories with reduced fees, where a previous (or concurrent) assessment can be utilised in the NICNAS assessment. These are available for some non self-assessed Standard, Limited and Polymer of low concern applications.

Modular notification categories

Use of overseas assessments

NICNAS can consider, and use in its assessment report, an overseas health and environment hazard assessment, from one of these specified countries, for a new chemical.

Use of overseas assessments in the notification of New Chemicals

Your secondary notification obligations

You must notify us when you become aware of a significant change in circumstances relating to an assessed new or existing chemical.

You are responsible for informing us of any significant changes from those outlined in the original assessment report of the chemical. You must do so within 28 days of becoming aware of such a change.

Read more about Secondary notifications

Last update 4 December 2019