NICNAS is transitioning to AICIS
So, you heard the news? AICIS will replace NICNAS on 1 July 2020. As if NICNAS wasn’t a headache enough, many of us had only just managed to wrap our heads around it. Well, most of that info is irrelevant now. Let’s dive into headache 2.0. I know for some of you, your brain is saying ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and you feel like you need a stiff drink. But, don’t stress because we‘ve done our best to summarise what you need to answer those frequently asked questions.
*disclaimer. Just a reminder that we’re not a government body. This is not advice. For confirmation you must read the official information here.
Wait, what’s happening to NICNAS on July 1?
AICIS will be the new regulator of the importation and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia.
By the way, it’s pronounced ‘ay-kis’ not ‘a-sis’.
First things first, you’re probably thinking why does this all need to change? Simples. Since more and more of you are now tackling that #handmadeinaustralia life, the industry is evolving. In other words – this is an improvement to the regulation of industrial chemicals in Australia,which is backed by new legislation. Just like the texture of your soap evolves as you’ve been honing your skills, so does the need for updated rules and regulations.
AICIS - The important stuff
The Industrial Chemicals (Notifications and assessment) Act 1989 will transition to the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019.
What does that mean for you? Well, this new law is introducing a new regulatory scheme for the importation and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia. It is replacing NICNAS.
Does this apply to me?
If you import or manufacture (introduce) industrial chemicals — or products that release industrial chemicals — into Australia for commercial purposes you must:
• Register your business with AICIS and pay a fee.
• Each chemical importation or manufacture (introduction)must be authorised (and you must categorise them) under 1 of 5 categories. Those are – Listed, Exempted, Reported, Assessed or Commercial Evaluation.
*Listen up* Before you assume your introductions are low risk and thus all is good
We had to steal this from the NICNAS to AICIS overview “Compliance, reporting and record-keeping obligations vary depending on the category. Regardless of the introduction category, every introducer must submit an annual declaration at the end of every registration year.”
This declaration just makes sure you comply with the new rules and it applies for all 5 introduction categories. Don’t worry they will send you a reminder before it is due and they will have more guidance coming shortly as the transition to the new scheme occurs.
Just in case you haven’t heard, some of these changes are already in effect
There are early regulatory changes now in effect which you should already know about. If that’s news to you, then add it as some light reading somewhere between spring cleaning, toilet paper hoarding and baking on your lock down to do list.
In light of the lockdown and changes to our movements, AICIS have replaced their usual info sessions with videos to guide you through the process. How utterly brilliant, they’re going to flesh it out for us!
You asked, we answered
We asked the community what you wanted to know about AICIS
I put some questions out there to the Facebook groups and have been able to find some information for you. But, please know this is simply from the website and everything should be confirmed yourself with NICNAS and other applicable government bodies.
- Will there be changes to fees?
Proposed fees and cost recovery were also out for comment which closed on the 13th march 2020 so more information will be available shortly on the proposed changes but you can access the ‘Proposed fees and charges for the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) – Consultation paper’ on the NICNAS website.
- I'm already NICNAS registered, what will happen to my rego?
If you’re currently registered with NICNAS they will transfer the rego over on the 1st July 2020 to the new scheme. The rego year for the new scheme is the same as NICNAS (1 September to 31 August).
- Why is the rego a certain date / period?
The Registration renewals are tied in with their business registration year that runs from 1 September – 31 August. The registration year and reporting cycle are set in the Industrial Chemicals Act and cannot be changed, refer to Section 5 for details.
- I only import cosmetics, do I need to register?
If you only import cosmetics and not industrial chemicals you will still need to register as the ingredients in the cosmetics are deemed industrial chemicals.
- How is AICIS better than NICNAS?
It will be easier to introduce lower risk chemicals now as they are shifting their focus onto higher risk introductions and focusing on post-introduction monitoring. (read more on that here)
- Is there a new registration year or reporting cycle?
Registration renewals are tied in with the business registration year that runs from 1 September – 31 August. The registration year and reporting cycle are set in the Industrial Chemicals Act and cannot be changed.
Where you can get the right information
Visual learners, you’re going to love their new Guidance Hub
Informative videos will be available in the AICIS Guidance Hub. They already have two videos ready and rolling, which are ‘NICNAS to AICIS’ and ‘NICNAS to AICIS transitions’. So grab some popcorn and get watching here.
The Guidance hub will literally be your new BFF until 1st July 2020. Then hopefully it will be safe again to go visit our actual BFFs!
Hold onto your popcorn though there is more coming! The following video topics are also in the pipeline for publication:
• categorising your chemical introductions
• assessed introductions
• searching the Inventory and understanding listings
• confidentiality of information
• reporting and record keeping; compliance monitoring and enforcement
• use of animal test data
If at any time you want to know how the transition process will work you can get up to date information online. The general rules, categorisation guidelines and transitional rules have now been finalised. You can access the summary at anytime here.
The website is full of guides and information on the whole transition from NICNAS to AICIS with FAQ’s at your fingertips. It is important to familiarise yourself with these changes. You can also submit a specific question about the new scheme directly to NICNAS.
Have your say as a Soap maker
You can even have your say and answer surveys in relation to the new scheme just keep your eyes on due dates so you don’t miss your chance to voice your opinion. NICNAS (or should I say AICIS already) are efficient with their replies and understanding of your questions so please utilise this to your advantage!
For any info we haven’t included in this blog post, it’s all over on their website here.
Your Dedicated Contact
Our Online Broker, Bec, has invested her role into researching and understanding the upcoming transition from NICNAS to AICIS. She is more than happy to direct questions to NICNAS and get the answers you need.
If you would like to discuss your cover and options with a member of our team please call our soap and candle ‘Queen’ Bec Innes on 1300 939 698 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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