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Introductions that don't require categorisation and registration

Some introductions of industrial chemicals don't require you to register your business with us or categorise your introduction.

From 24 April 2024: some soap makers no longer need to register with us - see criteria below.

Some chemical introductions don't require you to register your business with us – such as the chemical introductions outlined below. These chemical introductions also do not need to be categorised.

If this applies:

  • the chemical does not need to be listed on the Inventory
  • you're not required to categorise your introduction, even if the chemical is not on the Inventory
  • if the chemical is listed on the Inventory, you are not required to meet the terms of listing for that chemical
  • you can introduce your chemical without advising AICIS

However, if you also introduce other chemicals that are not covered on this page, then you must register with us and these introductions must be categorised with other regulatory obligations met.

Australian-made soap using lye and maximum 10 kg of fat or oil

You don’t have to register your business with us, nor categorise your soap chemical introductions if you only make soap chemicals that meet all 4 criteria below – these soap chemical introductions are excluded introductions. 

  1. The soap chemical must be made (manufactured in Australia.
  2. The soap chemical must be made using a saponification process with a fat or oil and lye (either aqueous sodium hydroxide or aqueous potassium hydroxide).
  3. The fat or oil you use to make the soap chemical must be on the .
  4. The total volume of the fat or oil you use to make the soap chemical must not be more than 10 kg in an AICIS registration year (1 September to 31 August).

These criteria relate to the ‘soap chemical’ that is made by mixing lye (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide) with an oil or fat. That is, the criteria do not apply to the colours, fragrances or other additives that you might add to make your final soap product. 

See our soap makers page for more information.

Selling products made from locally sourced ingredients 

You do not need to register with us, nor categorise your introduction, if you sell products that you made by blending ingredients that you only bought within Australia. This is because the supplier or manufacturer of those ingredients that you bought from are already registered with us. But if you bought any of the ingredients from overseas, you must register with us. 

Blending is commonly described as the process of mixing two or more industrial chemicals together without producing a chemical reaction.

Read about the difference between blending and manufacturing

Naturally occurring chemicals

If you only introduce chemicals that meet our definition of a naturally-occurring chemical, then you don't need to register with us. 

This is legally defined as an unprocessed chemical occurring in a natural environment, or, a chemical occurring in a natural environment that is extracted without chemical change by:

  • manual, mechanical or gravitational means; or
  • dissolution in water; or
  • flotation; or
  • a process of heating for the sole purpose of removing uncombined water

It's important to note that chemical ingredients that are derived from natural sources, such as plant essences and minerals, may not meet this definition because of the process used to extract the chemical from its source.

Ingredients that are labelled or marketed as ‘natural’, ‘organic’, 'herbal' or ‘pure’ often do not meet the legal definition of a naturally occurring chemical.

See our organic and natural ingredients page for examples of what is and isn't a naturally occurring chemical

Non-isolated intermediates

A non-isolated intermediate is an industrial chemical that is all of the following:

  • produced in the course of the manufacture of another industrial chemical
  • consumed in the course of the manufacture of the other industrial chemical
  • not intentionally removed from the equipment in which it is manufactured (other than by sampling
  • not likely to be released into the environment during normal operations.

Example: your chemical IS a non-isolated intermediate

The chemical is contained wholly within a reaction vessel, its ancillary equipment, and any equipment through which the chemical passes through during a continuous flow or batch process as well as the pipe work for transfer from one vessel to another for the purpose of the next reaction step.

Common examples of chemicals that are NOT non-isolated intermediates

A chemical:

  • stored (isolated) within tanks or other vessels after manufacture
  • isolated and transported or supplied to other sites
  • subject to transfer into an otherwise enclosed system for use as a reactant in chemical manufacturing
  • subject to transfer into an otherwise enclosed system for use as catalytic, processing, surface treating or curing agent during chemical manufacturing.

Incidentally introduced chemicals

An incidentally introduced chemical is an industrial chemical that is introduced – either with or subsequent to the introduction of another industrial chemical – and has no commercial value separate from the other industrial chemical. The incidentally introduced chemical is a result of any of the following:

  • the incomplete reaction of starting materials or reaction intermediates used in the manufacture of the other industrial chemical
  • an unintended constituent present in the starting materials used in the manufacture of the other industrial chemical
  • the exposure of the other industrial chemical to light, heat or other environmental conditions in the course of handling or storage
  • the occurrence of a chemical reaction during the manufacture or use of the other industrial chemical

Example – incidentally introduced chemical

A chemical by product or impurity that remains in a mixture with an industrial chemical as a result of manufacture, offering no commercial value separate from that industrial chemical, and being uneconomical to remove as part of manufacture or before importation of that industrial chemical.

Chemicals unintentionally released from an article

The release of a chemical from an article, where the article was not designed to do this, is an excluded introduction.

Examples include:

  • chemicals leaching from a plastic chair (the article) during use or disposal
  • chemicals leaking from a sealed, closed cell battery (the article)

One the other hand, a ballpoint pen is designed release a chemical. If you import or manufacture ballpoint pens, you must register your business and categorise your introduction.

See more in our articles section below.

Transshipment chemicals

These are excluded introductions if it is a transhipment chemical that:

  1. is introduced at a port or airport in Australia
  2. remains subject to customs control under the Customs Act 1901 at all times before leaving Australia
  3. leaves Australia within 25 working days beginning the day the industrial chemical is introduced

Chemicals introduced incidentally on an aircraft or ship

These are excluded introductions if the chemicals are all of the following:

  1. introduced incidentally to the carriage of passengers or the importation of other products on an aircraft or ship that leaves Australia within 25 working days
  2. used to support the operation of the aircraft or ship
  3. not freight

Chemicals introduced only for personal use

This means the industrial chemical is only for individual use and NOT in any way connected with a business activity.

Learn more about chemicals only used for personal use

Foreign businesses using an Australian distributor

If you are a foreign business and use an Australian distributor who is already registered with us, you do not need to register.

Read more on our foreign businesses page


If you only import or manufacture articles that are not intentionally designed to release chemicals, you're not required to register nor categorise your introduction. An example of an article is a table. An example of a product that is not an article is a ballpoint pen.

Read our definition of an article

Non-industrial chemicals

If your chemical has no industrial use, then we don't regulate it. You'll need to seek advice from the relevant regulatory authority. For more information, read 'What is an industrial chemical'.

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