NICNAS Handbook for Notifiers

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Last major update on 18 July 2014

Guide for importers and manufacturers of industrial chemicals in Australia


The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) is responsible for assessing industrial chemicals and ensuring their effects upon the health of the public, workers and the environment in Australia are minimised.

This guide is for introducers (importers and/or manufacturers) of industrial chemicals in Australia. It is divided into two sections which guide you—as an introducer—in meeting NICNAS's requirements:

  • Main content—everything you need to know in determining whether—and how—to make a notification.
  • Appendixes—additional support, guidance and relevant detailed background information.

For ease of reference, an industrial chemical is defined as any chemical that has an industrial use. Industrial chemicals include specialty chemicals, dyes, solvents, adhesives, plastics, laboratory chemicals, chemicals used in mineral and petroleum processing, refrigeration, printing and photocopying, paints and coatings, as well as chemicals used in the home, such as cleaning products, cosmetics and toiletries.

The use of chemicals in Australia—whether imported or manufactured in Australia—is regulated by NICNAS and other Australian Government agencies which—in turn—work closely with state and territory government counterparts. NICNAS's Who's Who in Industrial Chemicals Regulation guide lists all other Australian Government chemicals regulators.

NICNAS staff are available to provide further assistance.

NICNAS contact details
Freecall telephone 1800 638 528
General office telephone 02 8577 8800 or +61 2 8577 8800
Fax 02 8577 8888 or +61 2 8577 8888
Street address Level 7, 260 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010
Postal address GPO Box 58, Sydney NSW 2001 Australia

NICNAS welcomes your feedback on the Handbook.


  • The word 'introduce' is the general term used for 'import' and/or 'manufacture' of industrial chemicals in Australia. An 'introducer' is therefore someone who is an 'importer' and/or 'manufacturer' of industrial chemicals—referred to often throughout this guide as 'you'.
  • References in this document to such things as 'section 48', relate to section 48 of the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (Cwlth)—the ICNA Act—which governs NICNAS. For details see Legislation.
  • 'The ICNA Act'—which is used extensively in this Handbook—refers to the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (Cwlth).
  • Definitions of all terms used in the Handbook are in Appendix A.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms used in the Handbook are listed in Appendix B.
  • All major web links used in this Handbook are in Appendix T.

Copyright information

NICNAS Handbook—a guide for importers and manufacturers of industrial chemicals in Australia

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 0-642-39896-8

This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. All other rights are reserved. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to:

Commonwealth Copyright Administration
Copyright Law Branch, Attorney-General's Department
Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit
CANBERRA Australian Capital Territory 2600


Web site:

A note about printing

This Handbook is a guidance document, designed to be accessed on line.

It will be updated whenever changes to notification procedures are introduced.

NICNAS does not encourage notifiers to make print copies of the Handbook. However, printing options are available, and each section can be printed by clicking on the Print Page icon.

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