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Welcome to the website of the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS). We started on 1 July 2020. Read about us.

Banned or restricted chemicals

We are often asked which chemicals are ‘allowed’ or ‘banned’ in Australia. Many people don’t realise that chemicals are regulated on a national level by 4 different government schemes, depending on the intended use of the chemical.

Which chemicals are banned in consumer products and cosmetics?

The Poisons Standard is the best resource for people who are looking for information on restricted or banned chemicals in consumer products - including cosmetics. This is a legal document, but you can search it for chemical names.

If you’re importing or making cosmetics, you still need to check our Inventory to make sure there are no regulatory obligations attached to the product’s chemical ingredients.

How we regulate chemicals

Our focus is on industrial chemicals, but we will share our recommendations to manage risks with other regulators if there is evidence that a chemical is harmful to human health and the environment. From there, it’s up to state and territory authorities to implement and enforce our recommendations through legislation, regulations and standards.

We don’t publish lists of illegal or restricted chemicals, and we’re unable to ban the use of chemicals. However, we can limit industrial chemical imports and manufacturing by placing obligations on the chemicals we assess, such as:

  • Limits on volume
  • Limits on concentration
  • Where the chemical is used

If we place any obligations on a chemical, they will be described in the chemical’s Inventory listing. We can also add or change any obligations if further information comes to hand. It is an offence to import or manufacture a chemical if you can’t meet these obligations.

Chemicals listed under international agreements

Australia follows international conventions and protocols to protect human health and the environment against the effects of hazardous chemicals.

Under section 9 of our new law, the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019, our Executive Director has the power to approve, restrict or prohibit the introduction or export of industrial chemicals listed in:

  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention

If you wish to import or manufacture a chemical listed under an international agreement, you must apply in writing and pay an application fee.

Who else regulates chemicals in Australia

There is no single list of banned chemicals in Australia. But there other schemes that play a role in regulating different parts of a chemical's life cycle:

State and territory authorities usually manage compliance with restrictions on the access, use and disposal of chemicals. National standards or codes of practice are reflected in state and territory legislation to provide more uniform controls across Australia.

 

 

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