The LRCC Act came into effect on 9 August 2004, introducing a framework through which a number of measures can be brought in. These aim at providing more options for introducers of new industrial chemicals while enhancing safeguards to maintain health and environmental standards. In 2005-06 implemented t he Controlled Use (Export Only) Permit for chemicals to be imported or manufactured for export only was introduced in April 2006. Further reform options for addressing the NICNAS-TGA cosmetic interface were implemented (see above).
During 2005-06 NICNAS undertook the following reform work on LRCC:
Development of low hazard criteria (for introduction of reduced hazard chemicals and polymers under permit up to 1000 kg per year) . Draft criteria have been developed which allow non-hazardous chemicals and those at the lower end of the hazardous spectrum to be introduced under the Low Volume permit (LVC) provisions of the Act. These criteria are being reviewed by international regulatory agencies in Canada, US (EPA) and New Zealand for comment on applicability on a wider basis.
Development of low risk criteria (for controlled use permit). Low exposure criteria and specific low exposure scenarios for the controlled use permit system have been prepared, to be consistent with approaches in the US EPAs chemical regulatory processes.
Development of modular assessment fees . It is proposed that in 2006-07 reduced notification fees will be available for:
o chemicals assessed by other agencies (national and international), and
o chemicals considered analogues of chemicals previously assessed by NICNAS.
Development of a scheme for the introduction of audited self-assessment for low regulatory concern polymers. Classes of polymer that do not meet the current PLC criteria but are considered to be low regulatory concern have been identified.
Proposals to expand access to Early Introduction Permit (EIP) system to include low hazard and/or low risk chemicals. The proposed low hazard and low risk criteria are used to enable more low hazard and low risk chemicals to be eligible for early introduction.
Proposals to introduce a definition of essential oil. The currently available definitions for essential oil have been reviewed and recommendations regarding the adoption of these definitions made.
A scorecard report on LRCC implementation is given at Appendix 10.