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'.
Another category of introduction, not discussed in this guidance, are commercial evaluation authorisations. 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.
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.
A chemical introduction that is categorised as ‘listed’ means it is on our Inventory and already available for industrial use in Australia. You must be registered and meet any terms of the listing for that chemical. There's no fee for listed 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.
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.
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.
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.
This image summarises the above information about introduction categories, including whether an application fee is payable in a particular category.
Start by searching our Inventory to see if your introduction is 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, use the chemical's Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number or name.
If your chemical is on the Inventory without obligations under the terms of listing
Your introduction is categorised as 'listed'. You are authorised to introduce the chemical without telling us beforehand, if you're registered with us. You must make sure you understand your annual declaration and record-keeping obligations for listed introductions.
If your chemical is on the Inventory and it has obligations
An Inventory listing for a chemical may include these regulatory obligations and restrictions:
- Defined scope of assessment
- Conditions of introduction or use
- Specific information requirement
If any of these are on your chemical's Inventory terms of listing, you must check each term to see if your introduction does or does not meet requirements.
If your chemical is not on the Inventory and what to do next
If you have the correct CAS number or chemical name and still get no result when you search the Inventory, the reasons are 1 of the following:
- the chemical doesn’t need to be listed because it's a naturally occurring chemical, an alloy or hydrate or on our comparable chemicals list. Check our guidance to see if applies to your introduction.
- the chemical is listed (and available for introduction) but you cannot find it because it is protected as confidential business information — you need to contact us to check. Make sure you do not start any other categorisation step until you've done this.
- the chemical is not listed — go to step 1 of this guidance to work out if your introduction is categorised as exempted, reported or assessed.