What is an article?

An article is defined in the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (ICNA Act) as an object that:

  1. is manufactured for use for a particular purpose, being a purpose that requires that the object have a particular shape, surface or design
  2. is formed to that shape, surface or design during manufacture
  3. undergoes no change of chemical composition when used for that purpose except as an intrinsic aspect of that use
  4. does not include a particle (e.g. dust, powder, granules, lumps, flakes, dispersions) or a fluid (liquids and gases)

If you only import articles, you do not need to register with us. Examples of articles include:

  • empty containers such as plastic and glass bottles, tanks, drums or sachets
  • computers, televisions and phones
  • pre-shaped solid substance (such as a polymer block, sheet, film or filament) and it undergoes only limited further processing (such as cutting or bending)

What is not an article?

Generally all liquids, gases, dust, powders, granules, lumps, flakes, dispersions and mixtures are not an article.

If you commercially import chemicals or containers with substances that have an industrial then you may need to register with us.

Examples of non-articles that require you to register with us include:

  • cosmetics (e.g. skin lotion, soap, shampoo, make-up) including imported cosmetic products that are packaged and sealed for public sale
  • ink printer cartridges containing ink
  • ballpoint pens
  • bottles and containers of engine oil, paint, fuel
  • pre-shaped solid substance such as a polymer block, sheet, film or filament that don't stay in their original shape because of processing such as being pulverised, melted or made into pellets
ItemShaped for purposeShaped during manufactureNo chemical change*Not a particle or fluidIs it an article? (No means you must register with us)
Cosmetics (e.g. shampoo, condition, lotions, foundation, skin care products)  No
Furniture, e.g. chairs, desks Yes
Plastic bottle Yes
Contents of plastic bottle No
Empty ink cartridge Yes
Ink cartridge filled with ink No
Adhesives e.g. liquid glue No
Plastic pellets—as part of a children's toy Yes
Plastic pellets—for use in manufacture by melting or pulverising No
Steel ball bearings Yes
Compounded plastic pipe Yes

*except as an intrinsic aspect of its intended use

Last update 25 October 2019