AICIS frequently asked questions
AICIS replaced NICNAS on 1 July 2020. AICIS stands for the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme.
Special arrangements are in place to manage the transition from NICNAS to AICIS.
Will AICIS still define industrial use by exclusion?
Yes. Chemicals in Australia are regulated according to their use. AICIS regulates chemicals with an industrial use. The way AICIS defines industrial use is like NICNAS, and will still be by exclusion. So, a chemical is an industrial chemical if it’s NOT for a therapeutic, food, agricultural or veterinary use.
What are my obligations under AICIS as an importer or manufacturer (introducer)?
If you import or manufacture (introduce) industrial chemicals – or products that release them – you must:
- register your business with us
- categorise your introductions
- submit declarations and reports
- keep records
- give us information if we ask for it
What is the website address for the new scheme?
Our web address is https://industrialchemicals.gov.au.
What will happen to the NICNAS website?
The NICNAS website has been archived by the National Library of Australia (30 June 2020) and will remain accessible through their Trove online service.
AICIS Business Services portal
When will the AICIS Business Services Portal be available?
The NICNAS Business Services Portal will be replaced by the AICIS Business Services Portal. You’ll be able to access these online forms through this portal from 1 July 2020:
- registration of your business
- submission of pre-introduction reports
- certificate and authorisation applications
- confidential business information (CBI) applications
- Inventory-related and other processes (e.g. changing certificate holders, variations, Rotterdam notifications).
Your user login has not changed.
What is the new inventory called?
Its full name is the Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals (AIIC). We will generally refer to it as ‘the Inventory’.
When will the Inventory launch?
It launched on 1 July 2020. It is accessible on this website.
How can I search the Inventory?
The Inventory is publicly searchable on the AICIS website through a dedicated Inventory search page. There are 2 separate tabs — one for searching by CAS numbers and another for searching by keyword.
When will the ‘excluded use’ chemicals be deleted from the Inventory?
The NICNAS Inventory (the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances) contained many chemicals that have never had an industrial use. These were deleted on 1 July 2020.
NICNAS secondary notifications
Will NICNAS secondary notification obligations remain?
Yes, but they’ll become ‘specific information requirements’ under AICIS. This means you will have to tell us if any of the circumstances mentioned in NICNAS secondary notification conditions occur in the future. We will then decide if we need to re-assess the risk.
Can I apply to vary my NICNAS secondary notification conditions after 1 July 2020?
Yes – your NICNAS secondary notification conditions will be called ‘terms of listing’ under AICIS. If you wish to change these terms, you can apply to ‘Vary the terms of an Inventory listing’.
What will happen to my NICNAS permit on 1 July 2020?
If you have a current commercial evaluation (or CEC) permit from NICNAS, it’ll transition into the newly created category of ‘commercial evaluation authorisation’ under AICIS. Its terms and conditions will stay the same and will last as long as your NICNAS permit was going to be in force.
All other NICNAS permits in force on 30 June 2020 will automatically become AICIS assessment certificates on 1 July 2020. They will have the same terms and conditions as under NICNAS. These certificates will be of a limited duration - either the time left on the original permit, or until 30 June 2022, whichever is the later date. This means you’ll have at least 2 years to re-categorise your introduction to ensure continued compliance with the new scheme once the transitioned certificate expires.
What will happen to my NICNAS exemptions?
You can keep introducing chemicals under NICNAS exemptions until 31 August 2022. After 31 August 2022, you’ll need to categorise your introduction to make sure you’re compliant with AICIS. We’ll remind you as the date approaches. This arrangement applies to the following NICNAS exemptions:
- R&D (less than 100 kg),
- no unreasonable risk in cosmetics (less than 100 kg),
- no unreasonable risk in non-cosmetics (less than 100 kg) and
- non-hazardous in cosmetics (less than 1%)
Do I need to register with AICIS on 1 July 2020?
If you’re already registered with NICNAS as at 30 June 2020, you don’t need to do anything. Your registration will automatically transfer to AICIS on 1 July 2020. You’ll keep the same registration ID.
What is the annual registration period in AICIS?
1 September to 31 August – the same as NICNAS.
When do I need to renew my registration with AICIS?
If you continue introducing industrial chemicals after 31 August 2020, you must renew your registration by 1 September 2020. You’ll need to do this online in AICIS Business Services. We will remind current registrants about this.
Do I still need to submit an annual report for NICNAS?
No, you don’t need to submit an annual report in September 2020.
When do I submit my annual AICIS declaration?
You don’t have to do one this year. Your first annual declaration is due by 30 November 2021. It will cover the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 August 2021. After this, our usual registration year applies (1 September-31 August) and you will need to submit a declaration every year when you renew your registration.
Am I exempted from reporting under AICIS?
No. Reporting obligations apply to all 6 introduction categories. The level of reporting is proportional to the risk level of the introduction. At the very least, you’ll have to do an annual declaration. Our new website will have a dedicated section on your compliance obligations under AICIS.
Does the AICIS annual declaration apply to all introduction categories?
Yes, it applies to all 6 introduction categories. You submit it at the same time you renew your registration.
Fees and charges
What are the new registration charges?
The new registration charges are based on an 8-level system that’s determined by the value of the industrial chemicals introduced in the previous financial year. A charge of $72 applies to all registration levels. Businesses that introduced industrial chemicals with a total value of less than $50,000 in the last financial year will not pay a registration charge. Find out more on our AICIS fees and charges page.
Are there any fees for exempted and reported introduction categories?
No – but you need to be registered with AICIS to introduce any industrial chemicals.
What are the fees for assessed categories?
The fees for assessed introductions such as assessment certificates, authorisations and confidential business information, are tiered and based on the level of effort it takes to assess them.