Skip to main content

Open for public comment: proposed amendments to the General Rules – closes 17 September 2021.

Work out your environment categorisation volume

You need to know the environment categorisation volume (ECV) of your introduction to work out its environment exposure band. Information on this page helps you work this out so you can complete Step 5.3. 

On this page:

Explore our categorisation tool for help on this subject

Are you introducing a chemical that will have a designated kind of release into the environmentIf you are, your introduction is automatically in exposure band 4 for environment — go to Step 5.4: Work out your environment hazard characteristics.

Instructions

  • Use this guidance to calculate your introduction's environment categorisation volume.
  • We've included the equations to use and the options you have to choose from, dependent on the scenarios of your introduction.
  • You can adopt a simple method or a more detailed method (which can result in a lower introduction volume than the simpler method).
  • Once you have worked out your environment categorisation volume, you can complete step 5.3.

Methods you can use to work out an ECV for your chemical

There are 2 ways to work out the environment categorisation volume.

Method 1: Simplest approach

Use this method if you want an easy way to work out your environment exposure band.

ECV calculation for this approach

The ECV is your chemical’s total introduction volume in a registration year for all end uses.

Method 2: More detailed approach

Use this method if you want a more refined environment categorisation volume. Using this method could result in an ECV that is lower than the total introduction volume in a year. This could mean that your introduction ends up being in a lower environment exposure band than if the total introduction volume (method 1) had been used.

The calculation of the ECV using method 2 is different depending on whether your chemical introduction has 1 end use or more than 1 end use.

If your introduction has 1 end use

For a chemical with only 1 end use, calculate the ECV by multiplying the introduction volume (IV) by the release reduction factor (RRF) for your chemical’s end use scenario:

Equation (1): ECV = IV x RRF

The introduction volume you should use in your calculation is the total introduction volume in a registration year. Use the RRF that applies to your end use scenario (refer to our RRF table).

The RRF values range between 0 and 1. A low RRF indicates that only a small portion of the introduction volume is likely to contribute to environmental exposure. A higher RRF indicates that a higher proportion of the introduction volume could contribute to environmental exposure.

If your introduction has more than 1 end use

You can choose from 2 options to calculate the ECV where your chemical has more than 1 end use.

Option 1: Simplest approach

Use this option if:

  • you do not know the annual introduction volume of your chemical for each end use
  • you want to simplify the process of working out your environment exposure band but still want a more refined environment categorisation volume

ECV calculation for this approach

Allocate the total introduction volume to the end use scenario that has the highest RRF (refer to our RRF table, and use Equation (1) to calculate the ECV. Note: do not just use the volume for one of the end uses.

Option 2: More detailed approach

Use option 2 if:

  • you know the annual introduction volume of your chemical for each end use
  • you are willing to keep track of any changes to your introduction volume for each end use. This is needed to make sure that the indicative environment risk of your introduction does not increase

Calculate a separate environment categorisation volume for each of your end uses. Use the RRF for the end use (refer to our RRF table), and the volume that you will be introducing for that end use. Do this for all of your end uses and then add them up to get your total environment categorisation volume (use equation (2) below).

ECV = (IV1 x RRF1) + (IV2 x RRF2) +… + (IVn x RRFn)

Note: IVn = the introduction volume for end use ‘n’

RRFn = the release reduction factor (RRF) for end use ‘n’.

Table - Release reduction factor (RRF) you need to work out ECV, depending on end use scenario

Note, after this table, we've provided product definitions with examples.

If your introduction's end use scenario is... The RRF you need to use is...
Chemical imported into Australia; import containers remain closed; then exported for end use overseas 0
Chemical imported into Australia; limited handling of the chemical (such that import containers are opened); then exported for end use overseas 0.05
Chemical manufactured in Australia; exported for end use overseas 0.05
Adhesive and sealant products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Apparel and footwear care products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Arts, crafts and hobby products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Explosive products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Fuel, oil, fuel oil additives and related products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Lubricant and grease products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Personal care products - limited environmental release (end use in Australia) 0.05
Tattoo ink products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Paint and coating products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Plastic and polymer products (end use in Australia) 0.05
Construction products not covered by other end uses (end use in Australia) 0.2
Fabric, textile and leather products not covered by other end uses (end use in Australia) 0.4
Electronic products (end use in Australia) 0.5
Ink, toner and colourant products (end use in Australia) 0.8
Air care products (end use in Australia) 1
Anti-freeze and de-icing products (end use in Australia) 1
Automotive care products (end use in Australia) 1
Cleaning and furniture care products (end use in Australia) 1
Laundry and dishwashing products (end use in Australia) 1
Extractive products not covered by other end uses (end use in Australia) 1
Paper products (end use in Australia) 1
Personal care products not covered by other end use (end use in Australia) 1
Photographic products (end use in Australia) 1
Water treatment products (end use in Australia) 1
Personal vaporiser products (end use in Australia) 1
Any other end use not covered above (end use in Australia) 1

Product definitions and examples from the RRF table

Adhesive and sealant products means an end use to fasten other materials together or stop the passage of liquid or gas. Examples include:

  • glues 
  • binders
  • adhesives
  • pastes
  • sealants
  • fillers
  • putties
  • solder and caulking compounds

Apparel and footwear care products means an end use to care for apparel and footwear products intended for consumer and commercial use. Examples include:

  • footwear polishes
  • waxes and stains to waterproof and improve appearance and other desirable properties
  • apparel surface treatment products for water, stain or flame resistance

Arts, crafts and hobby products means an end use in arts, crafts or hobbies. Examples include:

  • crafting paints
  • crafting glue
  • adhesives (e.g. solder and hot-melt adhesives)
  • fixatives
  • finishing spray coatings and modelling clay

Explosive products means an end use for producing a sudden expansion, usually accompanied by production of heat and large changes in pressure. Examples include:

  • pyrotechnics
  • high explosives and propellants
  • igniters
  • primers
  • initiatory
  • illuminants
  • smoke and decoy flares
  • incendiaries

Fuel, oil, fuel oil additives and related products means an end use as:

  • liquid fuel in containers used for cooking, heating or for power in vehicles or appliances, or
  • a fuel additive to inhibit corrosion, provide lubrication, increase efficiency of use, or decrease production of undesirable by-products.

Examples of liquid fuels include:

  • gasoline
  • diesel fuels
  • kerosene
  • lamp oils

Examples of fuel oil additives include:

  • stabilisers
  • anti-knock agents
  • corrosion inhibitors
  • detergents
  • fuel dyes
  • oxygenates
  • antioxidants
  • odour agents

Lubricant and grease products means an end use in a liquid, paste or spray to reduce friction, heat generation and wear between solid surfaces. Examples include:

  • engine oils
  • transmission, brake and hydraulic fluids
  • gear oils
  • calcium, sodium, lithium, and silicone-based greases

Personal care products – limited environmental release means an end use in solid or hardening personal care products (including cosmetics) that are primarily disposed of to landfill. Examples include:

  • baby wipes
  • facial tissues
  • nail care products including nail polish and remover

Tattoo ink products means an end use in a combination of industrial chemicals that contains one or more colouring agents and is applied to the dermal layer of the skin for the purposes of colouring the skin. Examples include:

  • pigments
  • dyes
  • resins

Paint and coating products means an end use to paint or coat substrates intended for consumer or commercial use. Examples include: 

  • decorative coatings 
  • automotive coatings
  • transportation coatings
  • wood finishes
  • powder coatings
  • coil coatings
  • packaging finishes
  • general industrial coatings
  • automotive refinish
  • industrial maintenance and protective coatings
  • marine coatings
  • thinners
  • removers

Plastic and polymer products means an end use in production of plastics or polymers. Examples include:

  • monomers
  • initiators
  • additives

Construction products not covered by other end uses means an end use in construction materials, except where another scenario covers the end use. Examples include:

  • additives in cements and dry mortar
  • additives to bitumen for road repair
  • internal release agents for thermo-set laminating resins
  • resins in particle board manufacture
  • wood substitutes used to make mouldings
  • resins used in the production of composite materials

Fabric, textile and leather products not covered by other end uses means an end use to impart colour and other desirable properties onto fabric, textiles, and leather products that are intended for consumer or commercial use.

These properties include:

  • water/soil/stain repellence
  • wrinkle resistance
  • flame resistance

Examples of this type of product include:

  • textile dyes
  • textile finishing agents
  • leather tanning products
  • leather dyes
  • leather finishing agents, leather conditioner and surface treatment products

Electronic products means an end use in the production of electronic components. Examples include:

  • chemicals in vapour deposition
  • electroless plating
  • electroplating
  • etching
  • high vacuum evaporation/sputtering
  • laminate processing
  • soldering
  • photolithography

Ink, toner and colourant products means an end use for:

  • writing
  • printing
  • creating an image on paper and other substrates
  • applying to substrates to change their colour or hide images

Examples of this type of product include:

  • pigmented liquid
  • toners or powders used in copy machines and toner/printer cartridges
  • inks used in writing equipment
  • inks for stamps and correction fluids and tapes

This category does not include pigments and colourants added to paints and coatings.

Air care products means an end use to odorise or deodorise indoor air in homes, offices, motor vehicles, and enclosed spaces and intended for consumer or commercial use. Examples include:

  • aerosol sprays
  • liquid/solid/gel diffusers
  • air fresheners
  • scented candles
  • incense

Anti-freeze and de-icing products means an end use:

  • as an additive to fluids, especially water, to reduce the freezing point of the mixture, or
  • applied to surfaces to melt or prevent build-up of ice

Examples of this type of product include:

  • anti-freeze liquids
  • de-icing liquids (windshield de-icers, aircraft de-icers)
  • de-icing solids (ice melting crystals)
  • lock de-icers

Automotive care products means an end use (intended for consumer or commercial use) to clean and care for exterior and interior surfaces of automotive vehicles. Examples include:

  • car waxes
  • polishes
  • waterproofing products for windshield or automotive window glass
  • cleaners
  • sealers
  • car wash solutions
  • vinyl/rubber/plastic protectants
  • automotive carpet and upholstery cleaners
  • wheel and tyre care products
  • exterior trim protectants
  • touch-up paint products

Cleaning and furniture care products means an end use (intended for consumer or commercial use) to:

  • remove dirt, grease, stains, and foreign matter from furniture and furnishings
  • cleanse, sanitise, bleach, scour, polish, protect, or improve the appearance of surfaces

Examples include:

  • cleaners used on glass, floors, tub and tile, ovens and drains
  • scouring powders
  • dusting products
  • waxes
  • polishes
  • stain repellent sprays

Laundry and dishwashing products means an end use in liquid, granular, gel or unit dose packets/tablets to:

  • remove food residue from dishes
  • remove dirt from textiles
  • enhance properties of textiles
  • remove stains from textiles

Examples include:

  • dishwashing detergents and laundry detergents
  • stain removers and fabric enhancers
  • bleach
  • rinse aids
  • lime and rust removers
  • dry cleaning products used in non-aqueous cleaning processes

Extractive products not covered by other end uses means an end use in:

  • mining
  • onshore drilling
  • related activities such as extraction, cementing, hydraulic fracturing, refining

These scenarios do not include end use in offshore drilling. This end use is a designated kind of release into the environment (for which you do not calculate an ECV).

Paper products means an end use in paper production. Examples include:

  • effluent treatment chemicals
  • maintenance chemicals
  • deposit and cleaning agents
  • defoamers
  • surfactants
  • polymeric retention aids
  • coagulants
  • clay
  • resins

Personal care products not covered by other end uses means an end use for cosmetic use, except those covered under the “personal care products - limited environmental release end use” scenario. Examples include:

  • bath and shower products
  • make-up products
  • hair, oral and skin care products
  • secondary sunscreen products
  • deodorants
  • perfumes

Photographic products means an end use (for consumer or commercial use) to take photographic images, develop and process film, and make photographic prints. Examples include:

  • processing solutions (for developing, stopping, and fixing photos)
  • chemicals used in the manufacture or processing of film or photographic paper

Water treatment products means an end use to treat water in cooling and heating systems (including industrial heat-exchanger systems) and potable water supplies. Examples include:

  • chemicals used in pH buffers
  • scale and corrosion inhibitors
  • flocculating agents
  • ion exchange resins

This scenario does not include end uses to treat municipal water supplies or other large-scale water supplies for human or animal consumptions or irrigation. These end uses involve a designated kind of release into the environment (for which you do not calculate an environment categorisation volume).

Personal vaporiser products means an end use in a device that is intended to produce a vapour or aerosol that is delivered into a person’s body when the person inhales through the device. Examples include:

  • e-cigarettes
  • e-cigars
  • e-hookah pens
  • e-pens
  • e-pipes
  • vape pens

Go back to step 5.3

Contents

Was this page helpful?
For broken links or technical issues, please provide as much detail as possible. Do not include your name, email address and other personal or commercially sensitive information.

Keep informed with updates