May 20, 2021
All You Need to Know While Introducing or Importing Chemicals in Australia

The chemicals industry is one of Australia’s largest manufacturing sectors and a key enabler of almost every value chain. In Australia, chemicals are regulated under both territory/state and national laws. There are four (4) main Regulatory authorities for chemicals, and each authority focuses on a particular type of use.:

  • Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) 
  • Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration
  • Food Standards Australia and New Zealand

AICIS regulates the introduction and importation of industrial chemicals (including polymers) such as cosmetics and personal care products, paints, cleaning products, inks, adhesives, solvents and manufacturing, construction and mining applications. To manufacture (introduce) or import industrial chemicals into Australia, the following steps must be followed: 

Step 1: Know If Your Business Needs Registration

Manufacturers, who wish to import or introduce industrial chemicals, must fall under the following categories to register their business:

  • Manufacture industrial chemicals in Australia
  • Import finished/packaged products that release industrial chemicals – e.g. labeled cosmetic products (such as soap, shampoo, lotion), glues, pens, paint, engine oil, etc.
  • Import or produce industrial chemicals that release chemicals into Australia
  • Import industrial chemicals and reformulate in Australia

Step 2: Register Your Business

Determine the Registration level that applies to your business. Sign up with AICIS to register your business and pay the registration fee. There is no need to register the chemicals separately.

Step 3: Categorize the Chemicals

Make a list of all the ingredients in your product and categorize them according to the inventory. Check whether all the ingredients fall under the defined regulations. It is necessary to keep the correct records of the ingredients to ensure the introduction is authorized under the ‘listed’ category. There is no need to share any information about the product or the chemicals before importing.

Step 4: Submit the Annual Declaration

At the end of the registration year (1 September – 31 August), submit the annual declaration about all the chemicals imported or manufactured during the past registration year.

As safety is considered to be a major key point in the chemical industry, manufacturers must thoroughly understand, register, categorize and submit the annual declaration of their products according to the defined regulations. Therefore, it is necessary for the manufactures/importers to decode the registration process and align with them. In such cases, approaching a regional Regulatory expert is highly beneficial.

Stay informed. Stay compliant.