Customs continues to be a major partner agency involved in monitoring industrial chemical introduction into Australia . During 2005-06 NICNAS continued to strengthen this relationship.

Regular import data was provided to NICNAS for the purposes of monitoring compliance with registration requirements. Customs data is an important tool in the detection of incorrectly registered or unregistered importers.

A NICNAS Registration audit involved identifying a business (person, company or other business entity) that has introduced (imported or manufactured) a relevant industrial chemical while not registered, and sending them advisory information regarding their regulatory obligations.

A Registration case is generated from an audit, and involves a risk assessment and direct contact with the person/s concerned.

This is a seven-fold increase in audit-generated registration compared to 2004-05

Registration audits lead to 1233 additional businesses registered

During 2005-06 the Compliance team completed an audit based on 2004-05 Customs data that led to following up 1156 businesses that had previously declared that Registration was not required.

A further audit based on Customs data identified 14,038 new businesses that were sent advisory letters outlining potential registration liabilities for 2005-06. Only 73 representations to the Minister and 22 to the Director arose from this engagement with small to medium enterprises.

From both these audits 445 companies or individuals are in the process of being investigated.

A summary of NICNAS Registration compliance activities (ie. Registration audits and cases) is provide d in Table 20.

Table 20: Summary of NICNAS Registration audits and cases for 2005-06

Audits

No response

Invalid explanation

Not required to register

Registration received

Total resolved

Active cases

15,194

12,309

1287

386

1233

1619

445

As part of the Registration audits and cases, NICNAS conducted investigations into businesses that declared they did not require renewal of their registration in 2004-05 or 2005-06. The outcomes of these investigatio ns are summarised in Table 21.

Table 21: Summary of NICNAS Registration non-renewal investigations for 2005-06

Year

Total non-renewals

Renewed

Did not introduce (compliant)

Active at end 05-06

2004-05

30

6

22

2

2005-06

396

2

344

50