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Introduction of Controlled Use Permit (Export Only)
 

The Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the Act) provides a framework for, among other things, the issue of permits for the introduction of new industrial chemicals under conditions of controlled use, including chemicals for Export Only.

 

Regulations were registered on 20 April 2006 enabling the introduction of chemicals under this new permit category, effective immediately.

Scope of Controlled Use Permit (Export Only)

Industrial chemicals introduced under the following scenarios will be eligible for the new Controlled Use Permits (Export Only):

  • Importation of a new chemical into Australia for export of entire quantity;
     

  • Importation of a new chemical into Australia for use in formulation of products for export of entire quantity;
     

  • Manufacture of a new chemical in Australia for export of entire quantity; and
     

  • Manufacture of a new chemical in Australia for use in formulation of products for export of entire quantity.

The Controlled Use Permit (Export Only) will be available for chemicals where low risk can be demonstrated. In particular, sufficient control measures must be in place to satisfy the criterion of ‘highly controlled’ (section 22A of the Act. Sufficient control measures must be in place to prevent exposure to workers and the public and release to the environment.

 

The duration of the Controlled Use Permit (Export Only) will be a maximum of three years (section 22G of the Act). Renewal of the permit may be allowed provided there is no significant change in circumstances (section 22B of the Act).

 

Chemicals prohibited or severely restricted under Australia’s international obligations will not be eligible for a Controlled Use Permit (Export Only). For example, new chemicals with persistent organic pollutant (POPS) characteristics, which include persistence and bioaccumulation, will not be eligible

Information Required in Application

The basic information required by NICNAS with an application for a Controlled Use Permit (Export Only) is listed in subsection 22C(2) of the Act, namely:

  • Uses of the chemical;
     

  • A summary of the chemical’s effects on occupational health and safety, public health and the environment;
     

  • The volume to be introduced over a 3-year period.

The summary of health and environmental effects requires consideration of the chemical’s health and environmental hazards and an estimate of the impact of the chemical on workers, the public and the environment. A legislative condition of the permit is that there be low risk to occupational health and safety, public health and the environment.

 

Paragraph 22C(2)(e) allows for further data requirements in the regulations and, for an application for a Controlled Use Permit (Export Only), the following items will be required (listed in Regulation 6B):

  • Information on chemical identity, as in Part B.1 of the Schedule to the Act (for polymers, typical molecular weight data would be required);
     

  • Summary of how the chemical meets the definition of hazardous chemical in the Act;
     

  • Details of any notification of the chemical in another country;

     

  • Concentration of the chemical in products, if the chemical is an ingredient in products;
     

  • Detailed information on how the chemical is controlled, for example, methods of control to prevent release into the workplace, community and the environment (the Controlled Use Permit is only for chemicals which are ‘highly controlled’, so this must be demonstrated by the applicant);
     

  • Precautions taken for safe storage and transport;
     

  • Information on emergency procedures, as in Part B.13 of the Schedule;
     

  • Country, or countries, to which the chemical is to be exported; and
     

  • Label and MSDS for the chemical and products containing the chemical.

For introduction volumes exceeding 10 tonnes per year, all available toxicological and ecotoxicological data must be provided with the application. Toxicological and ecotoxicological information may be requested in other cases

Form of Application

An electronic template is be available on the website for applications (Form 1-EOP). It must be submitted to NICNAS with the fee and the required information for assessment.

 

Joint applications may be made by manufacturers and importers of a new industrial chemical for Export Only.

 

An application may be accompanied by an application (on Form 3) that some of the information provided be treated as exempt information under section 75 of the Act

Fees

Please refer to the current Fees and Charges page for details of the Export Only Permit fees

Further Information

For information regarding applications for the introduction of chemicals for export only under the new Controlled Use Permit (Export Only), please contact:

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Low Regulatory Concern Chemicals) Act 2004 (LRCC Amendment Act) received Royal Assent on 13 July 2004 and Proclamation on 9 August 2004 with the passage of the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Regulations (the LRCC Regs). The LRCC Amendment Act and the LRCC Regs provided the legislative framework to implement the majority of LRCC reforms.

 

Among the LRCC reform initiatives provided for in the LRCC Amendment Act, and requiring further development, was the Controlled Use Permit system, where introducers of new industrial chemicals for use in a highly controlled manner may be granted a permit. Introduction must be of low risk to workers, the public and the environment and safeguards are built into the permit system. Provision for the Controlled Use Permit system is in Division 1C of the Act, sections 22A to 22O.

 

During the LRCC consultation period, industrial chemicals introduced for export only were identified as suitable for the Controlled Use Permit system, due to their limited potential for exposure in Australia. Consequently, a discussion paper based on consultation with stakeholders and information about Export Only provisions in other national assessment schemes was published for public comment in issue no. C12 of the Chemical Gazette on 7 December 2004. The Final Report and Recommendations was published in the Chemical Gazette on 3 May 2005.

 

Safeguards

Under section 22F of the Act, the Director may reject an application for a Controlled Use Permit (Export Only) if not satisfied that (a) sufficient data have been provided for assessment and (b) use of the chemical satisfies the criterion of ‘no unreasonable risk to occupational health and safety, public health and the environment’. Guidance for ‘no unreasonable risk’ is included in the NICNAS Handbook for Notifiers.

 

Under the permit system in NICNAS, conditions may be applied to the permit to ensure that use of the chemical will not result in any unreasonable risk to workers, the public or the environment. The conditions may refer to any aspect of the chemical’s manufacture, handling, storage, use or disposal. The conditions may also specify special packaging and labelling requirements and procedures relating to potential release of the chemical or its waste products into the environment. Standard conditions currently applied to permits acknowledge the role of state and territory legislation in enforcing workplace and environmental controls.

 

Under the permit system, the conditions on the permit are binding, not only on the applicant, but any user of the chemical. The conditions on the permit can also be varied by the Director at any time. If any condition on a permit is breached, the permit may be withdrawn by the Director and/or a penalty imposed.

 

As with other permits issued by NICNAS, Controlled Use Permits (Export Only) will be subject to audit by the NICNAS compliance team. Penalties apply for failure to meet conditions on the permit, for example, exceeding the maximum volume of introduction specified on the permit.

 

Under the new annual reporting requirements in the Act (Division 3B), holders of Controlled Use Permits (Export Only) will be required to keep records of any application for 5 years after issue of the permit. Holders of the permit must also submit an annual report to NICNAS including details of the chemical’s name and volume and any information about adverse effects of the chemical on occupational health and safety, public health and the environment.

 

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