Amendments to the Act in 2004 introduced a range of new exemptions and modified existing exemptions that allow introduction (import and/or manufacture) of industrial chemicals that pose a low risk to human health and the environment without notification to NICNAS. To ensure ongoing health, safety, and environmental protection from the use of these chemicals, we require introducers to report these new chemicals and their quantity every 12 months for the previous registration year (1 September – 31 August).
Under section 21AA of the Act, introducers eligible for these exemptions must report the name and quantity of the chemicals introduced at the end of every registration year. Additionally, we require written advice from introducers of new cosmetic chemicals introduced under an exemption at greater than one per cent and at a quantity of 10-100 kilograms each year. Introducers who are importing or manufacturing new chemicals under a LVC or CEC permit, a controlled use permit or a self-assessed assessment certificate, are also required under section 40N to provide the name and quantity of any chemicals introduced under these permits/certificates. They must also report any adverse effect on OHS, public health or the environment of which they have become aware during the year.
For the first time, annual reporting requirements imposed obligations on small volume research and educational users of chemicals, particularly those introducing chemicals under research and development (R&D) exemptions.
Development of facilities for electronic submission of annual reports via the NICNAS website took place during 2005-06 and this year the online reporting module was introduced to external users. This facility provides a convenient means of reporting by stakeholders with chemical details being pre-populated where possible on the account holder’s behalf.
One hundred and eighty-five organisations reported on over 2700 chemicals in 2006-07 – a number expected to grow as industry takes advantage of exemption, permit and self-assessed assessment certificate reforms introduced as LRCC initiatives, and as awareness about this and other NICNAS obligations continues to increase.