Blending or manufacturing chemicals

If you manufacture chemicals for commercial purposes you must register your business with us. If you only blend using chemicals that you bought within Australia, you are not required to register with us.

What is manufacturing chemicals?

If you mix chemicals (or products containing chemicals) together and it results in a chemical reaction, then we consider this manufacturing. If you want to sell these then you must register your business with us.

A common example is making soap in which fats/oils are combined with sodium hydroxide to produce soap. At the end of the process, the starting materials are consumed and the chemical reaction has resulted in the manufacture of soap—a different chemical to the starting materials. In this case you must register with us.

Remember that you register your business with us, not your chemicals or products.

Examples of manufacturing chemicals — registration required

  • soap making involving saponification
  • any process that involves a chemical change, including some extraction processes used for making essential oils such as steam distillation
  • polymerisation (the process of joining together a large number of small molecules to make a smaller number of very large molecules), such as in the manufacture of acrylic polymers used in paint, varnishes and nail polish

However if the chemicals at the start of the process are the same as the ones at the end, then no new chemicals have been 'manufactured'. In this you don't have to register with us.

What is blending chemicals?

If you mix chemicals (or products containing chemicals) together and it does NOT result in a chemical reaction nor the creation or synthesis of a chemical, then we refer to this as blending. If you only blend chemicals and ingredients that you bought in Australia, you are not required to register with us.

But if you import chemicals, ingredients or products from overseas for blending in Australia, then you are a chemical importer and you must register with us.

If you use blending to make cosmetics for sale, your product still needs to comply with other Australian laws such as requirements for labelling and product safety.

Examples of blending chemicals

  • mixing paints
  • making soaps using the melt and pour method with a pre-made base
  • mixing cosmetics such as moisturisers, fragrances or essential oils using domestically-sourced ingredients
  • cold emulsifying, meaning blending using a mechanical rather than a chemical process.

Last update 16 November 2018