NICNAS carries out desktop investigations to determine whether a company or individual is fulfilling obligations under its Act.

These investigations are used to initiate an audit and inspection that may result in a case formally being opened.

Casework relates to breaches of registration requirements, new chemicals obligations, and the requirements of Australian importers and exporters trading in chemicals subject to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides. Australia is a party to the convention.

A large proportion of NICNAS casework arises from self-reporting by companies/individuals who find themselves in breach of the legislation.

A smaller, yet important, proportion is generated via third-party allegations and cases arising from our own audits. This year 46 cases were opened.

This included eight complaints regarding cosmetics. This was a result of NICNAS adopting a lead role (by agreement with Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) in addressing compliance concerns about cosmetics.

Of the cases opened in the year, 59 per cent (27) were finalised, as were 70 per cent (23) of the cases that remained active at the end of previous reporting period.

The investigations and audits led to the notification and assessment of 15 new chemicals and contributed to 229 organisations registering with NICNAS for the first time. Another 58 organisations upgraded their registration tiers during the year because of NICNAS audits.

Eight complaints regarding cosmetics made directly to NICNAS or referred by another regulatory authority were resolved.

NICNAS also investigated the illegal importation of tetraethyl lead, ultimately seizing a shipment of the fuel additive and holding it until the introducer had complied with regulatory obligations.