Commercial evaluation chemical permit

The commercial evaluation chemical (CEC) permit allows you to use the chemical for a specified performance or product trial only (for example, to test a new polymer in a surface coating when a large quantity is required to fill paint lines or to evaluate a new process that requires a new industrial chemical). This type of permit is not issued for chemicals in retail products such as cosmetics.

The permit specifies how the chemical can be used, the period of introduction and the maximum quantity permitted.

Your application for a CEC permit will be refused if you do not provide sufficient evidence that the chemical is for commercial evaluation only. It is unlikely that a company could obtain a series of CEC permits to cover importation over a period of years.

Details for you to consider:


The maximum introduction volume is 4 tonnes, but you should only apply for quantities that reasonably reflect your needs for commercial evaluation. You must justify your claims.


The maximum duration of a permit is 2 years. Use of the chemical under the permit may continue beyond the period of introduction, providing it is used for commercial evaluation.

If the CEC permit is issued for a duration of less than 2 years, you can seek permission from us to extend the introduction to a total of up to 2 years by providing an explanation.

User agreements

To ensure adequate safeguards, you need to provide user agreements in place between yourself and all users for conducting the evaluation of the chemical.

Only proposed users who have completed a user agreement can use the chemical.

Under these agreements, all users are bound by the conditions of the permit.

You can submit user agreements to us after you have made the initial CEC permit application.

In some instances, you may wish to have permits issued before user agreements are made. Applications for this will be considered case-by-case, but it is likely we will impose a further permit condition, such as that the chemical must not be passed on to—or used by—another person without a user agreement first being forwarded to us.

If you do not submit a user agreement with your application for a CEC, you need to explain to us what customer/user arrangements you have in place.

The CEC permit cannot be issued for chemicals to be evaluated through retail sale (for example, for end-use consumer products such as cosmetics and domestic cleaners) where a User Agreement cannot be obtained.

Download user agreement (Form 8)

Application requirements

Go to CEC applications

With each notification for a CEC permit, you must include:

  • commercial evaluation permit application CEC application form
  • total quantity of chemical to be introduced, including a written explanation justifying the quantity (this should relate to the chemical entity)
  • total time period for introduction
  • use of the chemical, clearly indicating the purpose for which it is being evaluated—describe distribution arrangements and clearly identify all users, including end-users
  • details of previous or current permits for the chemical, with particulars, if you know of permits previously issued in Australia for the chemical under any legislation, including the Act
  • a User Agreement (Form 8) that you and each proposed user of the chemical have signed, indicating you will comply with permit conditions
  • a summary of the chemical's occupational health and safety, public health and environmental effects
  • information about the chemical, comprising the data items listed in paragraphs 6(a)(i) to 6(N), 7,8, 11 and 12 of Part B of the Schedule
  • any application for exempt (confidential) information, with your payment
  • the CEC checklist indicating which items on CEC application form you have completed and items for which you are applying for confidential information
  • a statement that you are entitled to use and to give NICNAS all the data in the notification statement (include this on your application form)
  • a declaration that you have submitted all available information (include on your application form)

Download CEC notification template guidelines [Word 174 KB]



Joint applications may be submitted with the fee shared between all applicants or notifiers.

Assessment process and permit conditions

We usually complete the process within 14 days of the date we receive your application.

CEC permits include standard conditions (plus additional chemical-specific recommendations), including the need to:

  • adhere to the maximum quantity of chemical you can introduce for commercial evaluation and the period during which you can introduce it
  • advise us in writing before the permit expires if the period of commercial evaluation is to extend beyond the permit's duration
  • forward outstanding User Agreement forms to NICNAS before the chemical is distributed to users
  • ensure the chemical is used in accordance with all relevant state or territory occupational health and safety, public health environmental and poisons legislation
  • implement necessary control measures, where a suitable and sufficient workplace risk assessment requires it,  to prevent the risks to human health (adequate control of exposure to workers must be in accordance with the hierarchy of controls) or , where this is not practicable minimise, such risks
  • ensure that workers exposed to the chemical and products containing it are informed it is being introduced into Australia under a permit
  • make available the (Material) Safety Data Sheet ((M)SDS) at all sites where the chemical is used
  • ensure that waste is disposed of in accordance with Australian Government, state and territory government and local government regulations
  • keep records at the site/s of use for the quantity of the chemical used and any adverse occupational health and safety, public health and environmental effects resulting from use
  • report adverse occupational health and safety, public health and environmental effects to us as soon as possible
  • advise us, at the end of the evaluation, of:
    • quantities used
    • means of disposal of excess quantity
    • adverse occupational health and safety, public health and environmental effects during permit use
    • the outcome of the commercial evaluation.

We may, by written notice, impose further permit conditions or revoke or vary any condition, after issuing you the permit.

Under the Act, there is a penalty if you contravene a permit condition without good reason. We may also, by written notice, cancel a permit.

Chemicals that are the subject of a CEC permit are not eligible to be listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).

If a CEC permit is in force, you cannot be issued with a second permit for the same chemical. The proposed user of the chemical cannot be issued with a second CEC permit either.

If the commercial evaluation of the chemical is satisfactory and you wish to continue importing the chemical for full-scale commercial use, you should allow sufficient time to obtain an assessment certificate.


We publish CEC permit notices in the Chemical Gazette, including:

  • name of the chemical or trade name
  • whether the chemical is a hazardous substance
  • name and postcode of the company to which the permit is issued
  • volume of chemical that may be introduced
  • duration of the permit (maximum two years)
  • general use of the chemical.

Final report

At the end of the commercial evaluation each permit holder must provide a final report to us with contents as specified in the permit conditions.

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.

Learn more about your record keeping obligations

Renewing your CEC permit

CEC permits can be renewed 1 time only (if certain criteria are met).

Last update 25 November 2019