Legislation to implement a new risk-based regulatory scheme for industrial chemicals has been introduced into the federal parliament.
The Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 seeks to replace the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) with the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS).
The new framework would allow greater regulatory efforts to be directed towards the introduction of high-risk chemicals.
Low-risk industrial chemicals, on the other hand, would benefit from lesser regulatory burden under the proposed scheme. More focus would be given to post-introduction evaluation and monitoring in respect of such chemicals.
The number of introduction categories would be reduced to six under the new scheme, which would be based on self-categorisation.
The regulator would also be empowered to refuse the introduction of an industrial chemical where risks to human health or the environment cannot be managed.
“An important benefit of realigning regulatory effort towards industrial chemicals with a higher risk profile is that the costs to businesses and consumers using lower risk chemicals will be reduced. The faster regulatory pathway for lower risk chemicals provides an incentive to introduce safer new industrial chemicals, including replacing more hazardous existing chemicals”, the explanatory memorandum for the Bill states.
The package of legislation introduced into parliament also comprises of:
- Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2017
- Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment Bill 2017
- Industrial Chemicals Charges (Customs) Bill 2017
- Industrial Chemicals Charges (Excise) Bill 2017
- Industrial Chemicals Charges (General) Bill 2017.
Further information about the reforms is available here