Australia Industrial Chemicals Act

The Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 ("IC(NA) Act") is an act to establish a national system of notification and assessment of industrial chemicals, to provide for registration of certain persons proposing to introduce industrial chemicals, to provide for national standards for cosmetics imported into, or manufactured in, Australia, and for related purposes.

The objects of the IC(NA) Act are to provide for:
  • A national system of notification and assessment of industrial chemicals for the purposes of:
    • aiding in the protection of the Australian people and the environment by finding out the risks to occupational health and safety, to public health and to the environment that could be associated with the importation, manufacture or use of the chemicals
    • providing information, and making recommendations, about the chemicals to Commonwealth, State and Territory bodies with responsibilities for the regulation of industrial chemicals
    • giving effect to Australia’s obligations under international agreements relating to the regulation of chemicals
    • collecting statistics in relation to the chemicals
    • being a system under which information about the properties and effects of the chemicals is obtained from importers and manufacturers of the chemicals.
  • National standards for cosmetics imported into, or manufactured in, Australia and the enforcement of those standards.

Australia reforms NICNAS

In May 2015, the Australian government announced a simplification of its National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS). NICNAS is the regulatory body in charge of assessing the risk of industrial chemicals and providing information to promote their safe use, under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 ("IC(NA) Act").

These chemical risk assessments provide information of decisions made by Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies involved in regulating the control, use, release and disposal of industrial chemicals.

The reforms to NICNAS aim to reduce regulatory burden on the industrial chemicals sector by streamlining assessment processes and refocusing assessment effort on higher risk industrial chemicals, while also ensuring that Australia's robust safety standards are maintained. The reforms involve:

  • Rebalancing pre- and post-market regulatory requirements to match the indicative risk profile of a new chemical;
  • Streamlining the existing risk assessment process for new and existing chemicals;
  • Greater utilization of international assessment materials;
  • More appropriate compliance tools.

Several rounds of public and stakeholder consultation have taken place and the final consultation paper was published in October 2016. The framework is expected to take effect from July 2018. We will let our customers know of new developments that may impact their business.

For more information, please visit the NICNAS website or contact your ExxonMobil sales representative.

Page glossary

  • Effect
  • Regulation
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety