Apply for a commercial evaluation authorisation
You can apply for an authorisation to test an industrial chemical’s commercial potential in Australia. Strict eligibility criteria apply.
years maximum validity period
tonnes maximum volume over 4 years
working days to process your application
Did you apply for a commercial evaluation permit under NICNAS? Find out how it will transition to a commercial evaluation authorisation (CEA) under AICIS.
The commercial evaluation authorisation (CEA) pathway encourages innovation by providing a faster, cost-effective way to import or manufacture (‘introduce’) your chemical to evaluate its commercial potential. A CEA is valid for up to 4 years and authorises a maximum volume of 10 tonnes over 4 years.
- We must be satisfied that you can manage any risks to human health and the environment. This includes how you will manage risks due to uncertainty about the hazards of your chemical
- You cannot renew or extend your CEA beyond the 4-year validity period
- You can only apply for a new CEA for your chemical if the end use is different
- Our process is transparent - once we issue your CEA, we will publish a notice on our website but some of it might be protected as confidential business information
Application eligibility criteria
Your introduction must meet certain criteria when you apply for a CEA.
1. You must justify the reasons for your introduction
On your application, you will need to justify your reasons for introducing the chemical, your intended volume, and the length of time you need for a commercial evaluation.
2. You must not sell your chemical or make it available to the general public, unless it is part of an article
You cannot sell your chemical or make it available to the general public during the CEA period - either on its own or mixed with other chemicals (for example, in cosmetics) - unless it is part of an article. This is consistent with the purpose of a CEA and ensures that you can manage any risks to public health.
If your chemical is part of an article:
- the article must not be designed to release your chemical
- the article must not be a children’s toy or a children’s care product
- the chemical must not have an end use in an article with food contact
3. You must not release your chemical into the environment without prior treatment
Treatment means some form of intervention that will minimise your chemical’s release into the environment.
Examples of treatment include:
- capture and treatment of industrial effluent or air emissions through a licensed trade waste facility or at an onsite treatment facility
- treatment of industrial solid waste at a licensed treatment facility
- incineration or irreversible transformation of industrial effluent or air emissions at an onsite treatment facility
- disposal of solid waste to landfill
- combustion of fuels
- disposal to sewer
- irreversible binding of a chemical with an inert matrix (for example, UV/EB-cured inks or stable plastic/polymer articles)
Examples of release without treatment that are not permitted under a CEA:
- disposal of waste to the ocean, a natural waterway or a body of water
- intentional industrial-scale release to the environment during use, where the release is not minimised by engineering controls
To issue a CEA, we must be satisfied that you can manage any risks to human health and the environment following the release of your chemical. For example, if your introduction involves releasing chemicals that aren’t readily biodegradable to the sewer, we may not be satisfied that you can manage the risks.
4. You must ensure workplace procedures and controls are in place
Appropriate workplace procedures and safety controls must be in place to minimise exposure to your chemical.
Examples of workplace procedures and controls include:
- engineering controls
- personal protective equipment
- safe collection and disposal of the chemical
How to apply
More than 1 person can apply for a CEA - the fillable form includes space for multiple applicants.
After you submit your application
We will make a decision within 20 working days, unless we need more information from you or there is a delay in processing your application (for example, if we consult with a risk manager). You can track the status of your application in the AICIS Business Services Portal.
If we approve your application
If we issue a CEA, you can view and download it from AICIS Business Services.
Our process is transparent. We will publish the following information on our website for the duration of the CEA:
- the proper name for your chemical or an AICIS Approved Chemical Name (AACN) if the proper name is confidential
- that a CEA is in force for the chemical
- the end use for your chemical or a general description (‘generalised end use’) if the actual end use is approved as confidential business information
- the validity period for your CEA
We will not add your chemical to the Inventory after we issue your CEA.
If we don't approve your application
If you don't agree with our decision, you may ask us to reconsider our decision. You must submit a written request to the Executive Director within 20 working days of receiving our decision.
See our fee page.
Using your commercial evaluation authorisation
You must introduce and use your chemical according to the terms of your CEA. Your terms will include the:
- proper name for your chemical or an AICIS Approved Chemical Name (AACN) if the proper name is approved as confidential business information
- end use for your chemical or a general description (generalised end use) if the actual end use is approved as CBI
- validity period for your CEA
- authorisation to introduce your chemical for the purposes of commercial evaluation only
- conditions you must follow to manage any risks to human health or the environment
- specific requirements (if any) for providing information about your introduction
We may monitor your introduction to ensure that you are complying with all the terms of your CEA.
Changes we can make to your CEA
In certain situations, we can make changes to your CEA including:
- removing you as a holder
- varying the terms
- cancelling your CEA
For example, this can happen if you’re not complying with the terms of the CEA or we identify new risks associated with your introduction.
Our processes for making these changes are clear and allow you to comment on any proposed changes.
Apply to change your CEA
During the duration of your CEA you can apply to:
- vary the terms of your CEA
- change the CEA holders
- cancel your CEA
Another person may apply to be added as a CEA holder - all holders must consent.
After you complete your evaluation
If you wish to continue introducing your chemical after the CEA has expired, you must categorise your chemical introduction as either listed, exempted, reported or assessed.