How to import chemicals into Australia

Selling chemicals in Australia requires compliance with applicable regulations.

In Australia, there are several rules within which chemical products may fall, whatever the sector of destination (professional, industrial or for the consumer).

In general, placing chemicals on the Australian market requires:

– compliance with the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 of both the importing company and the products,

– the classification and labeling of products in accordance with the WHS regulation (implementation of the Global Harmonized System, GHS) or Poison Standard

– notification of the products to the local poison center.

Although these regulations are applicable in mainland Australian states and New Zealand, some additional procedures may be required for the type of product or region of sale.

The Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 is the Australian law governing the import and production of industrial chemicals in Australia. L’ AICIS (Australian Industrial Chemicals introduction scheme) is the regulatory scheme that administers this standard.

The company responsible for the import will have to register with AICIS before importing into the Australian territory. Registration must be renewed by August 31 of each year. The importing company keeps track of the imports made for five years and sends an annual declaration (1 September – 31 August), with which it will provide some information and confirm that the introduction of chemicals has been carried out in accordance with the laws in force.

The first step in verifying the conformity of the products is a comparison of the formula with the AICIS Chemical Inventory. This check will make it possible to understand if the constituent substances are present in the Inventory and if they comply with the conditions for importation.

In general, substances in the Inventory are divided into substances that can be introduced without notice and substances that require further information before import. If the products contain substances of the first type, it is possible to import as “ listed introduction “provided the company is registered, maintains chemical records and submits an annual declaration.

If the products contain substances for which the Inventory contains a defined scope, conditions of introduction or use, specific information requirements or other legal obligations, these must be checked and complied with.

Furthermore, chemical products must be accompanied by safety data sheets and labels.

The safety data sheet is prepared according to WHS Regulations (2020), which represents the implementation of the GHS on the Australian territory. The labels are prepared according to the type of product and the user in accordance with the requirements of WHS or of the Schedules identified by Standard Poison.

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