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Categorisation of chemicals with an end use offshore

Extra information to help you categorise the importation and manufacture of chemicals that have an end use offshore.

Have you checked if your chemical is on our Inventory? If your chemical is on our Inventory and your introduction meets any terms of the Inventory listing, it is categorised as a ‘listed’ introduction. Learn more about listed introductions

Who should read this?

Importers and manufacturers of industrial chemicals (and products that are designed to release industrial chemicals) who are working out if their introduction will be categorised as exempted, reported or assessed. You should read this information before the chemical is introduced in Australia together with our guide to categorising your chemical importation and manufacture.

What do we mean by 'chemicals that have an end use offshore'?

Chemicals with an end use offshore include chemicals used in:

  • offshore drilling
  • offshore oil and gas extraction
  • offshore refining

Your introduction is a specified class of introduction if it has an end use offshore.

Chemicals added to offshore drilling fluids can be released to the environment when they are used. The containment of chemicals used offshore can be more difficult than onshore. Drilling fluids and other chemical products are occasionally discharged directly to the marine environment after use in offshore oil and gas extraction, and are often disposed of directly into the ocean without any prior treatment to degrade them. This increases the risk that they may harm the marine environment.

As a result, any chemical with an end use in offshore operations has a designated kind of release into the environment.
 

Chemicals that have an end use offshore are both a 'designated kind of release into the environment' and a 'specified class of introduction'

Is this introduction exempted, reported or assessed?

You must work out if your introduction meets the criteria for the exempted or reported categories by going through steps 1–6 of our guide to categorising your chemical importation and manufacture. If your introduction does not meet the criteria for the exempted or reported category, it will be an assessed introduction (unless you meet the criteria for a commercial evaluation authorisation).

The additional or different requirements to be aware of when working out your category of introduction are at:

What is the environment exposure band? (Step 5.3)

The environment exposure band for the introduction of such a chemical is environment exposure band 4.

If your introduction is categorised as reported, you will need to do the following when you submit your pre-introduction report:

  • identify that your introduction is a specified class of introduction
  • select that 'it involves a designated kind of release into the environment'
  • answer 'Yes' when asked, 'Does the chemical involve a designated release into the environment' and select the kind of designated release into the environment, which will be:
    • if the industrial chemical is introduced for an end use in offshore drilling — release (intentional or otherwise) into the ocean

If your introduction is categorised as assessed, you will need to do the following when applying for an assessment certificate:

Additional record-keeping obligations

If you worked out your introduction category is exempted or reported by following steps 4–6 of our categorisation steps, and 

  • your introduction is not internationally assessed for human health and the environment; or
  • your introduction is internationally assessed for human health but not the environment 

then you must keep the following records:

  • the kind of designated release into the environment — introduced for an end use offshore 
  • information about the release into the environment, including:
    • the location of the release into the environment (including all receiving water bodies); and
    • the frequency of the release into the environment 

For all other record-keeping requirements that apply to your chemical introduction, see our guidance on reporting and record-keeping obligations.

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