In 2006-07, 358 notifications were received and accepted, comprising 190 applications for certificates and 168 for permits, a decrease of 9 per cent and an increase of 12 per cent, respectively from last year. NICNAS issued 185 assessment certificates and published assessment reports for each chemical, a decrease of 8 per cent from 2005-06. One hundred and forty-six new chemical permits were issued, a 22 per cent increase from last year.

Trend data for assessments completed over the past five years, provided in Figure 5, demonstrate a consistent overall increase in completed certificate assessments and permits. A summary of applications for each notification category in terms of the number of certificate or permit applications received over a five-year period is illustrated in Figure 6.

Figure 5: Number of completed New Chemicals certificate/permit assessments over five years

2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Certificates 125 189 200 202 185

Permits 151 162 106 120 146

Figure 6: Number of New Chemicals certificate/permit applications received over five years, by category

2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

A: STD 32 62 56 41 48

B: LTD 64 51 43 45 52

C: PLC 73 85 43 61 58

D: SAPLC - - 52 45 20

E: SANHP - - 0 3 0

F: SAHNC - - 0 0 0

G: EXT 10 10 19 14 10

H: CEC 1 43 20 26 56 34

I: LVC 2 79 104 30 42 70

J: EOP - - - - 7

K: Total 301 332 269 307 299

1 includes five renewals in 2005-06, and nine renewals in 2006-07

2 includes eight renewals in 2005-06, and forty-six renewals in 2006-07

Note: Figures for EIPs provided at Figure 7

A cyclical increase and decrease has been observed with certificate applications, reflecting fluctuations in business activity. As NICNAS works with a wide variety of industries that manufacture and/or import industrial chemicals, such fluctuations cannot be linked to any particular industry sector.

The high level of LTD and STD notifications received was maintained in 2006-07. There was a slight decrease in the number of applications for EXTs compared to last year; it remains an option under-utilised by industry. The number of LVC permit applications, particularly permit renewals, was higher than expected.

Applications for 57 EIPs were received, an increase from 52 received in 2006-07. These account for 36 per cent of certificate notifications received (excluding extensions and self-assessments). EIPs enable chemicals that are not hazardous substances or dangerous goods, and which meet certain environmental criteria, to be introduced and used while NICNAS is undertaking the assessment. The issuing of an EIP facilitates the introduction of safer chemicals whose entry into the marketplace would otherwise have been delayed until the full assessment was completed.

Five-year trend data for industry utilisation of EIPs shown in Figure 7 demonstrate a sustained trend of about one third of certificate applications including an associated EIP application.

Figure 7: Utilisation of EIP category over five years

EIP category

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

EIPs received

43

60

49

52

57

Total STDs, LTDs & PLCs received

169

198

142

147

158

Two applications for secondary notifications were received in 2006-07. A notifier later withdrew one of these applications.

Numbers of assessment certificates (STD, LTD or PLC) issued under various industrial use categories since 2003-04 are provided in Table 6. The four-year trend data indicate that surface coatings and printing/photocopying maintained a high level of notifications. Chemicals used in cosmetics, domestic products and fuel and oil were strongly represented among newly notified chemicals.

Table 6: Industrial uses of STD, LTD & PLC assessed chemicals over four years

Use category

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Adhesives

5

5

8

0

Building/construction

1

1

6

0

Cosmetics

29

25

14

19

Domestic use

6

9

11

8

Electrical

0

0

0

1

Explosives

0

0

0

0

Fuel and oil

13

17

18

14

Leather processing

0

0

0

0

Mining

0

2

0

6

Packaging

0

0

1

0

Paper and pulp

1

2

2

2

Photographic

0

18

6

0

Plastics

15

11

9

23

Printing/photocopying

37

39

21

45

Refrigeration

0

1

0

0

Surface coatings

56

39

56

39

Textile processing

3

5

6

4

Water treatment

4

0

3

1

Other

19

6

18

23