Self-assessment applications

You can submit a self-assessment application for a PLC however PLCs are also now exempt from notification. Go to our PLC introductions page for more information about the 3 ways you can introduce a PLC into Australia.

You can also submit self-assessment applications for non-hazardous chemicals and non-hazardous polymers. However, we will not accept your application if the chemical or polymer can be predicted to be persistent and bioaccumulative, or if there are breakdown products that can be predicted to be persistent and bioaccumulative.

Supporting data

Record all information to support your application on the electronic template. Other than the (M)SDS, do not send any supporting data—such as physicochemical and toxicological studies—with the application. If supporting data are submitted, we will not consider the application to be self-assessed.

Even though you do not submit it with your application, as a notifier you must hold supporting data for a period of five years for audit purposes.

Variation of data requirements

You cannot vary data requirements with self-assessment applications, including waivers of test requirements or substitution of analogue or product results. We need to examine these case-by-case.

Data requirements that are not feasible or relevant (for example, particle size when a polymer is not extracted from solution) are not considered to be a variation.

Joint self-assessed applications

The Act makes no provision for joint self-assessed applications.

Third party confidential information — record keeping obligations

Under the Act, you must keep records to support any statement, based on third party information, made in, or in connection with, your self-assessed application. As such, we cannot accept an application where data are provided by a third party and confidential from the notifier.

Changing from the self-assessed to non self-assessed category

If your application is not accepted as a self-assessment, we will write to you to explain why. You can ask for your self-assessment application to be moved to the non-self assessed category, provided you pay the difference in fees. We may require more information if you do so.

We may request additional information

There may be cases where you submit a self-assessment application to us for a polymer that meets the PLC criteria, but we require additional information to address residual concerns. This is mostly in cases where exposure is high—such as where polymers with significant water solubility are released directly to the environment (for example, cosmetic or water treatment applications) or where polymers are constituents of products deliberately applied to the body (for example, cosmetics) or in food contact applications. Residual concerns can also relate to effects observed during toxicological or eco-toxicological studies, if these are relevant to exposure conditions.

We can ask you for additional information to address these types of concerns. You will generally be informed of this need 14 days after we receives your application.

If we identify a significant health or environmental concern during screening, the self-assessment process will lapse and the assessment will revert to the normal 90-day time frame (assessment clock).

Assessment process and outcomes

We will prepare a self-assessment report, including the public report and certificate for the applicant/notifier and will, in general, forward these by day 28 of the assessment clock.

A self-assessment report could also contain information prepared by us on other matters, such as residual concerns. On receiving this report, you can advise us of confidentiality concerns within 14 days, after which time the public report is published on our website.

Record keeping obligations

You must keep records to support any statement made in, or in connection with, your application for 5 years from the date your certificate is issued.

Find out more here about your record keeping obligations

Health criteria for non-hazardous chemicals and polymers (non PLC)

For self-assessment applications, you must establish that a chemical (other than a polymer) is a non-hazardous chemical with respect to mammalian toxicity and have available the data listed below in Table C4: OECD test guidelines and indicative results for toxicity testing - regardless of import volume.

Although we might not require full toxicological data for current limited category notifications, data will be required for self-assessments.

For each test, the result must lead to the chemical not being considered hazardous according to the NICNAS definition.

With genotoxicity testing, you need the results of two genotoxicity tests, and both must be independently negative.

You also have to list the relevant test guidelines, which are normally obtained from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These are listed, along with indicative results for toxicity testing, in the following table: OECD test guideline and indicative results for toxicity testing.

OECD chemical safety and biosafety

OECD guidelines for the testing of chemicals and related documents

Table C4: OECD test guidelines and indicative results for toxicity testing

Endpoint

Indicative results for toxicity testing 

Test Guideline 

1. Rat, acute oral**

LD50 >2000 mg/kg bw

OECD TG 401

OECD TG 423

2. Rat, acute dermal

LD50 >2000 mg/kg bw

OECD TG 402

3. Rat, acute inhalation (aerosols or particulates) (gases or vapours)

LC50 >5 mg/L/4 hour

LC50 >20 mg/L/4 hour

OECD TG 403

4. Rabbit, skin irritation**

slightly to non-irritating

OECD TG 404

5. Rabbit, eye irritation

slightly to non-irritating

OECD TG 405

6. Skin sensitisation

no evidence of sensitisation

OECD TG 406 (Buehler and Maximisation tests)

OECD TG 429 (local lymph node assay )

7. Rat, repeat dose toxicity*

oral no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) >50 mg/kg bw/day

dermal NOAEL >100 mg/kg bw/day

inhalation NOAEL >0.25 mg/L, 6h/day

OECD TG 407–409, 422

OECD TG 410–411

OECD TG 412–413

8. Genotoxicity—bacterial reverse mutation**

non mutagenic

OECD TG 471–472

9. Genotoxicity—in vitro

non genotoxic

OECD TG 473, 476, 479–482

* You only need data from one repeated dose mammalian toxicity test.

** For synthetic polymers with an NAMW ≥1000 Da, you are normally only required to have data items 1, 4 and 8 in the table. However, where the polymer contains one or more high concern RFGs with a functional group equivalent weight <5000, as defined in the PLC criteria (except un-substituted positions ortho and para to phenolic hydroxyl or partially-hydrolysed acrylamides), you are also required to show evidence of item six test results.

For a polymer, all the requirements in the table hold for biopolymers and low molecular weight synthetic polymers (with an NAMW <1000 Da).

If you have data other than that included in the table, you must report it. We will not accept the chemical for self-assessment if any such data leads to the chemical or polymer being classified as a hazardous substance.

You cannot request waivers of test requirements or substitution of analogue or product results with self-assessments, as these would require case-by-case assessment by us.

You are not required to submit acute inhalation toxicity results if the chemical:

  • has a vapour pressure <1.5 kPa
  • (as introduced) has <25% of particles having <10 μm diameter
  • is not purposely aerosolised during use (except where this constitutes a 'controlled use').

You are required to list the results of the toxicity testing in the report template, along with any discussion of observed results below classification thresholds. We may ask that your notification be changed to a non self-assessed category if the information reveals concerns that need further assessment.

In the above table, 'slightly irritating' refers to irritation test results where the effects observed are below classification thresholds. 'Non mutagenic' and 'non genotoxic' refer to negative results as defined for individual test guidelines.

Environmental criteria for non-hazardous chemicals and polymers (non PLC)

You must establish that the chemical or polymer is non-hazardous with respect to environmental toxicity. The chemical or polymer must:

  • have one of these characteristics:
    • dissolves in water without dissociation or association and is not surface‑active and the partition coefficient (n‑octanol/water) at 20oC as log Pow does not exceed 3
    • solubility in water is >1 mg/L
    • molecular weight (or number‑average molecular weight (NAMW) in the case of a polymer) is >1000
  • be readily biodegradable
  • have a very low aquatic toxicity to fish, aquatic invertebrates and algae, that is, LC50 or EC50 100mg/L or greater.

We will not accept chemicals meeting criteria for persistence and/or bioaccumulation for self-assessment.

You must present all relevant environmental data and a full set of physico-chemical data in the self-assessment report.

Last update 8 April 2019