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What is a specific information requirement?

How to meet your obligations if you want to import or manufacture a chemical that’s listed on the Inventory with a specific information requirement.

An Inventory listing for a chemical may include a ‘specific information requirement’. This means that we have assessed this chemical, and you are obligated to tell us about your introduction in certain situations. The information you provide helps us determine if we need to reassess a chemical.

If your specific information requirement is described on the Inventory listing for the chemical

You need to submit information to us if any of the circumstances described in the ‘specific information requirement’ apply to your introduction.

Example of a ‘specific information requirement’ you could see on an Inventory listing:

The Executive Director must be notified in writing within 28 days if:
1. the importation volume of the chemical exceeds 10 tonnes per annum;
2. the concentration of the chemical exceeds or is intended to exceed 0.3% in paints or coatings.
If, since the chemical was assessed under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989, a person who introduces the chemical becomes aware that:
a) the function or use of the chemical has changed, or is likely to change, significantly;
b) the amount of the chemical being introduced has increased, or is likely to increase, significantly
c) in the case of a chemical not manufactured, or proposed to be manufactured, in Australia at the time of the assessment – it has begun to be manufactured in Australia;
d) the method of manufacture of the chemical in Australia has changed, or is likely to change, in a way that may result in an increased risk of an adverse effect of the chemical on occupational health and safety, public health or the environment; 
e) additional information has become available to the person as to an adverse effect of the chemical on occupational health and safety, public health or the environment

If your specific information requirement refers to our assessment

If you see the words 'Obligations to provide information apply. You must tell us within 28 days if the circumstances of your importation or manufacture (introduction) are different to those in our assessment' in the Inventory listing for a chemical, you should search for the chemical assessment report.

Note: These reports were first published by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS).

If you can’t find the chemical assessment report

Sometimes you won't be able to find our chemical assessment report because we cannot link it to the chemical due to confidentiality reasons.

If you can't find our assessment report, you should submit this online form to give us information about your introduction.

If you find the chemical assessment report

  1. Read the report, especially the section on introduction and use
  2. Read the section called ‘Secondary notification’
  3. Work out if you need to submit information to us – see guidance below

Do you need to submit information to us?

Read the obligations described under the heading 'Secondary notification' in the NICNAS assessment report. Then compare this with your own introduction to work out if the information requirement applies in your case.

In general, you will need to submit information about your introduction if any of the following apply.

  • The function or use of the chemical is significantly different to those described in the assessment report.
  • The amount of the chemical that you will introduce is significantly higher than the amount described in the assessment report.
  • If the report only covered the risks associated with importing the chemical, but you will be manufacturing the chemical in Australia.
  • Your method of chemical manufacture in Australia will – or is likely to – increase the risks to workers, public health or the environment compared with the risks described in the original assessment.

What 'significant' or 'significantly' means in a specific information requirement

We use the words ‘significant’ or ‘significantly’ to describe situations where your use of the chemical is different to what we originally assessed – and your use could potentially increase any risks to human health or the environment.

Your different use of a chemical may include any of the following scenarios:

Your chemical is used at a higher concentration

You need to tell us about your introduction if you're using the chemical at a higher concentration than the originally assessed concentration and it is likely to increase the risk to human health or the environment. A significant change in concentration depends on the hazards and/or uses of the chemical.

Example 1

The original assessment was for a fragrance ingredient at a concentration of up to 0.5% in consumer products. The assessment covered the hazards and risks of using the chemical at concentrations of up to 1% and indicated that the chemical has the potential to be a skin sensitiser at concentrations of more than 1%.

You will be using the same chemical at a concentration of 1% in consumer products. You do not need to tell us about your introduction because the previous assessment has already characterised the hazards and risks of the chemical up to a maximum of 1% concentration.

However, if you use the chemical at a concentration of more than 1%, you need to tell us about your introduction because it could potentially increase the risk to human health.

Example 2

The original assessment was for a cosmetic ingredient at a concentration of 5% in a hair shampoo product. The assessment notes that at 10% concentration, the chemical is not classified as hazardous to human health according to the Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

You will be using the same chemical in a shampoo or other wash-off skin product (for example, face cleanser) at a concentration of up to 10%. You do not need to tell us about your introduction because the increased concentration of the ingredient is not expected to potentially increase the risk to human health.

Change to the type of health and/or environmental exposure

You need to tell us about your introduction if the original assessment did not cover the type of exposure that will occur with your use of the chemical.

Example 1

The original assessment was for a chemical used as a catalyst in a chemical reaction (which can lead to dermal exposure and limited environmental release), but you will be using the same chemical as a domestic metal cleaning agent (which can also include inhalation exposure and widespread environmental release). You need to tell us about your introduction because the original assessment did not cover this type of exposure.

Example 2

Your chemical was assessed as an automotive paint for professional spray application (worker’s exposure), but you will be using the same chemical as a decorative paint or coating available to the general public (public exposure). You need to tell us about your introduction because the original assessment did not cover this type of exposure.

Large increase in the quantity of chemical imported or manufactured

You need to tell us about your introduction if you will be importing or manufacturing the chemical in much larger quantities compared with the original assessment.

Example 1

The assessed quantity was up to one tonne per year, but you will be importing up to 10 tonnes per year. You need to tell us about your introduction because you are importing the chemical in much larger quantities compared with the original assessment.

Example 2

The assessed quantity was 50 tonnes per year, but you will be importing up to 500 tonnes per year. You need to tell us about your introduction because you are importing the chemical in much larger quantities compared with the original assessment.

Example 3

The report for your chemical is a ‘Limited’ (LTD) assessment (up to one tonne), but you will be importing or manufacturing more than this amount per year. You need to tell us about your introduction because you are importing the chemical in larger quantities compared with the original assessment.

Change in manufacturing method

You need to tell us about your introduction if the method of manufacturing your chemical is substantially different to what was described in the original assessment or if it leads to a different type of exposure to workers, public health or the environment.

Examples

  • changing from a closed process to an open system
  • using different raw materials
  • using different processing conditions
  • increasing the number of workers required to deal with the chemical
  • changing the method of waste disposal

New information on the chemical's hazardous properties

You need to tell us about your introduction if any potential hazard properties have been identified since the original assessment was published. This includes:

  • any new hazards that weren't identified from the introduction or use of the chemical in our most recent assessment or evaluation
  • any increase in the severity of a hazard we've already identified in our most recent assessment or evaluation

Examples

  • Your chemical was assessed as a skin irritant in the original assessment, but you have new information that the chemical is also a skin sensitiser.
  • You have new information that the chemical may be a carcinogen.
  • Your chemical was assessed using read-across information, but you have new studies on the chemical.

Example scenarios

Company 123 Pty Ltd wish to introduce their chemical for use in: ​​​​​​
• industrial surface coatings
• coating of floorboards and decking that will be available for public use
• do-it-yourself paint applications and uses other than in surface coatings

The chemical will be present in the coating products at 10% concentration.

Company 123 Pty Ltd plan to import up to 100 tonnes of the chemical per year.

They find their chemical listed on the Inventory with a specific information requirement. They then locate the assessment report and establish that the original assessment was for:
• importation volumes of up to 10 tonnes per year
• use in industrial surface coatings including automotive topcoats that are not available for public use
• use concentration at 5% in surface coating

Company 123 Pty Ltd must tell us about their introduction because:
• they intend to use the chemical for an application other than in surface coatings
• their importation volume is higher than 10 tonnes per year, so they need to tell us their intended volume
• the chemical in surface coatings will also be available for public use
• the chemical will be used at 10% concentration where the chemical can be a skin irritant (Skin Irritant Category 3)

Company ABC Pty Ltd wish to introduce their chemical for use in finished domestic dishwashing detergent without prior reformulation. Their importation volume is 25 tonnes per year and the concentration is 4.5%.

Company ABC Pty Ltd find their chemical listed on the Inventory with a specific information requirement. They locate the assessment report and establish that:
• the original assessment was for the same use – as an ingredient in domestic cleaning products
• the assessed concentration of the chemical was 5%
• the assessed importation volume was 40 tonnes per year

Company ABC Pty Ltd do not need to submit any information to us about their introduction. If Company ABC Pty Ltd are currently registered with us, then they can introduce the chemical as a 'listed introduction'.

If you’re introducing a polymer that was assessed as a Polymer of Low Concern (PLC) by NICNAS

If you are introducing a polymer that was assessed by NICNAS as a PLC but your polymer does not meet the AICIS PLC criteria, you must tell us about your introduction by submitting this form.

You must also look at the assessment report and check if there are any other secondary notification obligations under the heading 'under Section 64(1) of the Act'.

Important: Disregard the secondary notification obligations ‘under Section 64(2) of the Act’ because these no longer apply to PLC introductions under our current laws.

If you can’t find the assessment, you should submit the online form to tell us about your introduction.

Record-keeping obligations

You must keep certain records and submit an annual declaration at the end of the registration year. You must keep the records for 5 years – even after you’ve stopped introducing your chemical – and give us the records if we ask for them.

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