The Australian government is reforming the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) to make regulatory effort more proportionate to risk; promote safer innovation by encouraging the introduction of lower risk chemicals; and continue to protect workers, the public, and the environment from any harmful effects of industrial chemicals. NICNAS has begun a public consultation on the following draft documents that, together with the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017, will form the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS):
- Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2018 (General Rules): The General Rules contain details on how the introduction of industrial chemicals will be regulated under the new framework. Introductions that are considered to be medium to high risk and are not exempted or reported include certain industrial chemicals at the nanoscale that:
- Meet particle size requirements and are introduced as a solid or dispersion;
- Persist at the nanoscale and do not rapidly dissolve; and
- Are not incidental to the introduction of the non-nanoscale portion of the industrial chemical.
An introduction may be exempted because it is determined to be very low risk to human health and the environment. These circumstances include an industrial chemical that is solely for use in research and development (R&D), is not available to the public, has control measures in place, and meets certain volume thresholds, including no more than ten kilograms if the chemical is introduced at the nanoscale as a solid or dispersion and meets the particle size criteria;
- Industrial Chemicals Categorization Guidelines (Categorization Guidelines): The Categorization Guidelines contain the technical details and requirements that industrial chemical importers and manufacturers will need to categorize their chemical introductions under the new scheme; and
- Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Rules 2018 (Transitional Rules): The Transitional Rules describe how processes under the previous laws will transition to the new scheme.
Comments are due May 4, 2018.