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We've updated our guidance on NICNAS to AICIS transitional arrangements.

Transition from NICNAS to AICIS

Introductions less than 100 kg and less than 1% (NICNAS exemptions)

You can keep introducing chemicals under NICNAS exemptions until 31 August 2022. This arrangement applies to the following NICNAS exemptions: 

  • research and development – less than 100 kg
  • cosmetic use (no unreasonable risk) – less than 100 kg
  • non-cosmetic use (no unreasonable risk) – less than 100 kg
  • cosmetic use (non-hazardous) – less than 1%

Get more details about these NICNAS exemptions (you will be taken to the archived NICNAS website).

What you need to do if you are using these exemptions

  • Comply with your record-keeping obligations
  • Submit an annual declaration – when you select the introduction categories that apply to the chemicals you introduced during the registration year, choose ‘reported introductions’ for the chemicals introduced under NICNAS exemptions.
  • Categorise your introduction as listed, exempted, reported or assessed – and meet any obligations associated with the introduction category – for introductions after 31 August 2022 to be authorised. 

When you should categorise your introductions 

It may take you some time to gather the information you need to categorise your introductions. You should start categorising your introductions now.

If you are introducing a lot of chemicals under the NICNAS exemptions, you’ll need to have a plan in place to ensure that your introductions of those chemicals are authorised after 31 August 2022. The following chemical introductions may take the most time to categorise (and find the information you need to meet your record-keeping obligations):

  • You don’t know the proper name or CAS number (if assigned) for a chemical
    Your supplier will need to do parts of the categorisation process and provide you with information for your records. This may take some time for them to complete.
  • Chemicals that you know have hazard characteristics in human health hazard band C or environment hazard band D
    The introductions of these chemicals may be categorised as assessed. After 31 August 2022, you may need to apply for – and receive – an assessment certificate from us before you introduce these chemicals.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Will the transition period be extended? 

A. No. The transition period is prescribed in our legislation. There are no AICIS exemptions to replace the NICNAS exemptions. Rather, you must categorise your introduction as listed, exempted, reported or assessed by following our guide to categorising your chemical importation and manufacture. You must then meet any obligations associated with the introduction category for your introductions after 31 August 2022 to be authorised.

Q. Will my introduction be categorised as listed, exempted, reported or assessed? 

A. You need to work that out by following our guide to categorising your chemical importation and manufacture. Your introduction category could depend on several factors, such as: 

  • the chemical that you are introducing 
  • the volume of chemical that you will introduce in a registration year
  • the concentration of your chemical at introduction and at end use
  • how your chemical will be used
  • the hazard characteristics of your chemical
  • the information that you are able to use to categorise your introduction

Q. If I introduced a chemical under the NICNAS exemptions, does this mean it is an exempted introduction under AICIS? 

A. No. The criteria to introduce a chemical under the NICNAS exemptions and the AICIS exempted introduction category are not the same. Introductions under the NICNAS exemptions are ‘taken to be’ in the reported introduction category for the transition period. For your introduction to be authorised after 31 August 2022, it must be categorised as listed, exempted, reported or assessed (see our guide to categorising your chemical importation and manufacture). 

Q. I selected ‘reported introductions’ when completing my annual declaration for the chemicals I introduced under the NICNAS exemptions. Does this mean my introduction is categorised as reported under AICIS?

A. The introduction is ‘taken to be’ in the reported category for the transition period only. If you want to introduce your chemical beyond 31 August 2022, you will need to categorise the introduction as listed, exempted, reported or assessed, and meet any obligations associated with the introduction category. 

You don’t need to submit a pre-introduction report unless:

  • you are planning to introduce the chemical after 31 August 2022; and 
  • you work out that your introduction is categorised as a reported introduction under AICIS

Q. If the chemical that I’m introducing under a NICNAS exemption would be categorised as assessed under AICIS, can I still introduce it under the NICNAS exemption until the end of the transition period?

A. Yes. You must ensure that it meets the criteria for the relevant exemption (with consideration given, where appropriate, to the hazard characteristic or reason that would make it an assessed introduction under AICIS). You must keep records about your introduction.

Q. What do I do if my supplier won’t give me the identity of my chemical or provide a written undertaking so I can categorise my introduction?

A. If you cannot categorise your chemical introduction and meet the obligations associated with the introduction category, then you cannot introduce your chemical after 31 August 2022. You may need to source the chemical from a different supplier who will give you the information you need to meet your obligations. 

Note: if you are introducing the chemical before 31 August 2022, you also need to make sure you can meet your record-keeping obligations.

Q. If I can’t categorise my introduction and can no longer import the chemical, can I still use or sell existing stock that is located in Australia? 

A. Yes. If the introduction of the chemical was authorised because you met the NICNAS exemption criteria, then you can use or sell the stock that was introduced under that exemption. You must keep records about your introduction.

Other information on transitional arrangements

These pages from the archived NICNAS website were published in December 2019 to January 2020 and explain transitional arrangements for the changeover from NICNAS to AICIS.

 

Looking for the archived NICNAS website? Go to the National Library of Australia's Trove.
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