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Want to know your next step after registering with us? Read our 'Basics of importing and manufacturing chemicals' page for full details.

Before you start categorising your introduction

Before you start the steps in this guide, you must search our industrial chemicals database (Inventory). Chemicals listed on the Inventory are available for industrial use in Australia. If your chemical is on the Inventory and your introduction meets any terms specified in the Inventory listing, your introduction is categorised as 'listed'.

This guide does not cover how to categorise your introduction as a commercial evaluation. Under this category, you can apply for a time-limited commercial evaluation authorisation for the purpose of testing a chemical's commercial viability in Australia.

Start by searching our Inventory - is your introduction a 'listed introduction'?

Always search the Inventory as your first step to check whether your introduction is a 'listed introduction'. You must check that each industrial chemical (including ingredients in products) is on our Inventory. To search the Inventory, enter the chemical's Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number or name for each industrial chemical you want to introduce. You can also search by keyword.

Chemical is not on the Inventory or you can’t find your chemical on the Inventory

Some chemicals don’t need to be on the Inventory, or they’re already on the Inventory but not searchable by the public – see ‘I can’t find my chemical in the Inventory’ for more details.

If you’re sure that your chemical is not on the Inventory, or it is on the Inventory but you cannot introduce the chemical as a listed introduction, you must work out your introduction category following this guide.

Chemical is on the Inventory without any regulatory obligations

If the chemical listing only describes the chemical identity details and does not have any requirements, conditions or ‘defined scope of assessment’ then it is already available for industrial use in Australia. If you're already registered with us, you are authorised to import or manufacture the chemical as a listed introduction and can introduce this chemical without telling us beforehand. You'll also need to keep records about your chemical introduction.

Chemical is on the Inventory with regulatory obligations

The chemical is already available for industrial use in Australia and your next steps depend on the information displayed in the chemical’s ‘Inventory terms of listing’. For each of the following cases, you must keep records about your chemical introduction and submit an annual declaration at the end of the registration year.

  • The chemical is listed with a specific information requirement:
    • If you're already registered with us, you're authorised to import or manufacture the chemical as a listed introduction and don't need to tell us about it beforehand.
    • You’re legally required to submit information to us under certain circumstances.
  • The chemical is listed with a defined scope of assessment:
    • If your introduction is within the parameters of the defined scope of assessment, you are authorised to import or manufacture the chemical as a listed introduction and don't need to tell us about it beforehand. 
    • If your introduction is outside the parameters of the defined scope of assessment, you must do one of the following:
      • work out your introduction category following steps in this guide
      • apply to vary the Inventory terms of listing (to change the parameters of the defined scope of assessment for that chemical's listing) – fee applies
  • The chemical is listed with a conditions of introduction or use:
    • If you're already registered with us and your introduction is within the conditions of introduction or use, you're authorised to import or manufacture the chemical as a listed introduction and don't need to tell us about it beforehand.
    • If your introduction does not meet the conditions, you cannot introduce the chemical until you apply to vary the Inventory terms of listing and we approve it.

Introduction categories

Listed introductions

A chemical introduction that is categorised as ‘listed’ means it is on our Inventory and already available for industrial use in Australia. Your business must be registered with us and you must meet any terms of the listing for that chemical. There's no fee for listed introductions.

Exempted introductions

A chemical introduction that is categorised as ‘exempted’ means we consider it to be very low risk to human health and the environment. You can introduce the chemical without telling us beforehand, as long as you’re registered with us. Some exempted introductions require you to submit a once-off post-introduction declaration the first time that you introduce the chemical. There's no fee for exempted introductions.

Reported introductions

A chemical introduction that is categorised as ‘reported’ means we consider it to be low risk to human health and the environment. You must submit a once-off pre-introduction report before you start introducing it. There's no fee for reported introductions and no fee to submit a pre-introduction report.

Assessed introductions

A chemical introduction that is categorised as ‘assessed’ means we consider it to be medium to high risk to human health and the environment. It cannot be exempted or reported. We must assess your introduction and issue an assessment certificate before you can import or manufacture it. There is a fee to apply for an assessment certificate.

Commercial evaluation

If you meet our commercial evaluation criteria, you can apply for a commercial evaluation authorisation as an alternative option to the exempted, reported or assessed category. There is a fee to apply for a commercial evaluation authorisation.

Learn more on our basics of importing and manufacturing page

The Minister can also authorise introductions under exceptional circumstances.

For each introduction category, you have reporting and record-keeping obligations – including an annual declaration that everyone must submit at the end of the registration year. A registration fee applies to all introduction categories.

This image summarises the above information about introduction categories, including whether an application fee is payable in a particular category.

Diagram depicting 5 categories

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