Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS)

The Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS) is the legal device that distinguishes new from existing chemicals. AICS:

  • is a database of chemicals (not products)
  • has two sections: non-confidential (public) and confidential

How to search the non-confidential (public) AICS

Use the search bar located at the top of every NICNAS webpage or the search page.

How to search the confidential AICS

You must submit a request for NICNAS to search the confidential AICS on your behalf.

Chemicals on AICS

Chemicals on AICS can be imported or manufactured in Australia without notifying NICNAS, except chemicals that state 'Secondary Notification Conditions apply: Yes' in the AICS search result or have Conditions of Use. These have mandatory requirements and you should contact NICNAS before manufacturing or importing the chemical or products containing the chemical.

Chemicals not on AICS

An industrial chemical that is not on AICS is a new chemical unless it is exempt from notification. New industrial chemicals must be notified and assessed before being manufactured or imported into Australia.

Adding chemicals to AICS

All chemicals that receive an assessment certificate are automatically added to the public AICS five years after the certificate date and become searchable online.

The instrument of authorisation [PDF 175 KB] sets out the chemical details that are added to the AICS. The details are the:

    • Chemical Abstracts Services name
    • Chemical Abstracts Services number
    • molecular formula

The chemical will also be published in the Chemical Gazette. The certificate holder has the option to add the chemical to the public AICS immediately after receiving the certificate rather than waiting five years.

Alternatively, the certificate holder can request that the chemical be listed on the confidential section of AICS (see 'Confidential listing on AICS' below).

Confidential listing on AICS

To list a chemical in the confidential section of the AICS, the certificate holder must submit an application, including a justification for requesting confidential listing.

See Establishing a Case for Confidential Listing of Chemicals on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances for guidelines.

If you wish to apply for confidential listing, you should submit your application at least two weeks before the five-year anniversary date on the certificate. If your application is approved, the chemical is listed for five years. After five years, you can apply to re-list the chemical for another five years.

The instrument of authorisation [PDF 202 KB] sets out the chemical details that are are added to the confidential section of AICS. The details are the:

  • name of the chemical that is the chemical abstracts (CA) preferred index name, or
    • if such a name is not available, the name for it to be used by the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry, or
    • as complete a description of the chemical that is practicable.
  • Chemical Abstracts Service number if available
  • molecular formula of the chemical.
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