Record keeping requirements

Importation of chemicals

General record keeping requirements apply to importers of chemicals. Under Regulation 7A of the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Regulations 1990, an importer of a chemical must keep documents relating to the chemical that are relevant commercial documents within the meaning of section 240 of the Customs Act 1.

These documents include commercial documents that came into the person's possession or control before, on and after the entry of the industrial chemicals into Australia.

Relevant commercial documents could include:

  • A commercial invoice providing a description of the goods
  • Orders/confirmations
  • Bills of lading/airways bills
  • Insurance certificates
  • Receipts for purchase of goods
  • Illustrated descriptive material
  • Any other records provided to Customs.

In addition, the importer of a chemical must keep a written statement specifying whether:

  • the chemical is, or contains an industrial chemical
  • the chemical is a new industrial chemical
  • there is an assessment certificate in force in relation to the chemical
  • there is a permit in force in relation to the chemical.


For any registration year for which a person is registered, the person must retain records relating to the introduction of chemicals during that registration year. Records should be retained for 5 years from the end of the registration year and should contain as much detail as is necessary to determine the appropriate registration level.

Record keeping obligations

Low volume permits, controlled use permits and self-assessment certificates

Under s40K, all holders of low volume and controlled use permits and self-assessment certificates are required to keep records for 5 years for audit purposes. Section 40L gives the Director the power to require all holders of these particular permits and certificates to provide information in or in connection with their application for, or application for renewal of, the permit or certificate that they hold, to the Director on request.

Last update 23 December 2019