A strategic approach to the evaluation of industrial chemicals.
This roadmap outlines our approach for evaluating the introduction and use of industrial chemicals to aid in the protection of Australians and our environment.
Under the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 (IC Act), any chemical that meets the definition of an industrial chemical (or class of industrial chemicals) may be subject to evaluation. This includes those:
- already listed on the Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals (Inventory)
- introduced under the assessed, reported or exempted introduction categories
- introduced under a commercial evaluation authorisation
- introductions that are excluded from the requirement to be in one of the authorised introduction categories.
Our goals for evaluations
Our main goal is to ensure that the introduction of chemicals to Australia is supported by contemporary information and recommendations about managing potential risks associated with their use. We will do this by:
- identifying and prioritising industrial chemicals for evaluation
- producing targeted, risk-proportionate, transparent and evidence-based evaluations and recommendations to risk managers
- providing high quality information and risk management advice for the safe use of industrial chemicals.
- Continue to accelerate the evaluation of industrial chemicals that can be used in Australia.
- Publish information on our website to help users to make informed choices about the chemicals they use.
- Consider the impacts of our evaluation outcomes on stakeholders.
- Make timely recommendations to risk managers.
By the end of the 2024 financial year (30 June 2024), we aim to evaluate at least 20% of chemicals on the Inventory for which a current risk assessment is not available.
- inactive chemicals
- chemicals unlikely to need further regulation to manage risks
- higher concern chemicals.
We will focus on evaluating chemicals identified to be of concern. We will also continue to apply Evaluation Selection Analysis to other chemicals that have not been recently evaluated or assessed.
We will also publish information on chemicals that are unlikely to need further regulation to manage human health and environmental risks based on their hazards and exposures. This will help stakeholders make informed choices about the selection and use of industrial chemicals.
We aim to evaluate the remaining unassessed higher concern industrial chemicals by the end of 2030.
We will review and reset targets regularly. We will use a range of sources including compliance monitoring information and tracking new available data. Stakeholders, government agencies, industry and the public will continue to have their say on the outcomes of evaluations.
Our action plan and outcomes we expect
These six action areas are critical to achieving our goals.
Outcome 1 - Risk reduction
Strengthened national capacity for industrial chemical risk reduction.
- Undertake evaluations that are proportionate to the risk of an industrial chemical.
- Protect human health and the environment by providing information and risk management recommendations for uptake by:
- Commonwealth, state and territory regulators
Outcome 2 - Targeting evaluations
Risk-proportionate, transparent and targeted evaluations.
- Target chemicals for evaluation using the Evaluation Selection Analysis (ESA) criteria and process.
- Maintain and update prioritisation tools and adopt innovative methods to allow efficient and consistent screening outcomes.
- Create a validated a list of chemicals that are not commercially active for industrial use in Australia (inactive chemicals).
Outcome 3 - Knowledge and evidence
Produce targeted and evidence-based evaluations through effective use of data.
- Apply a weight of evidence approach to deliver high quality evaluations.
- Maximise the use of international assessment materials and facilitate the acceptance of information from stakeholders.
- Actively group chemicals to enhance efficiency and promote consistent decision-making.
- Provide transparency for stakeholders on upcoming evaluations by giving notices and publishing a rolling action plan for evaluations.
- See our rolling action plan of current and completed chemical evaluations
Outcome 4 - Capacity building
Supporting best practice through education and training.
- Promote stakeholder understanding of the purpose and components of evaluations through education.
- Use novel validated risk evaluation methods and processes adopted by other regulators.
- Conduct systematic peer reviews of evaluations and peer review exchange for more complex evaluations with international regulators.
Outcome 5 - Leadership and engagement
Utilising global chemical intelligence for innovation.
- Maintain strategic relationships with national and international regulatory authorities.
- Engage with a range of stakeholders to gain an understanding of each of the sectors’ needs.
- Work with stakeholders to support the uptake of recommendations.
- Expand relationships with stakeholders to maximise use and exchange of available information.
- Regularly review stakeholder relationships to maintain currency and effectiveness.
Outcome 6 - Informing choice
Enabling choices about the use of chemicals through provision of risk information.
- Continue to publish chemical safety information through evaluation statements on our website allowing stakeholders to make informed choices.
- Conduct evaluations for chemicals that include:
- chemicals that are unlikely to require further regulation to manage risks to human health and/or environment
- identified substitutes for high concern chemicals
- chemicals introduced to Australia in articles.