Typical Products containing Chemicals that should be Registered with AICIS

Who should and shouldn't be registered with AICIS?

Who should and shouldn't be registered with AICIS?


If your business in Australia imports or manufactures any kind of industrial chemical, no matter how small the amount, you must register with the Australian Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme (AICIS), BEFORE you manufacture or import any quantity.

What is an 'Industrial Chemical?'

The term ‘industrial chemical’ covers a broad range of chemicals used in inks, adhesives, cosmetics, soaps, solvents, paints, plastics and many more products.

The only exceptions are those chemicals for agricultural and veterinary use, which are regulated by Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), chemicals for therapeutic use, regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and those for food use, which are regulated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

Typical Products containing Chemicals that should be Registered with AICIS

Who must register with AICIS?

AICIS registration is mandatory if your business:

  • imports industrial chemicals, or products that release industrial chemicals into Australia
  • imports finished and packaged products that release industrial chemicals – for example, labelled cosmetic products (soap, shampoo, lotion), paint, glues, engine oil and pens
  • imports industrial chemicals for reformulation in Australia
  • manufactures industrial chemicals in Australia

You must register even if:

  • you only use the chemicals within your business (for example, you import a coolant to use for machines in your factory)
  • someone else is already importing or manufacturing the same or similar chemicals
  • you’re a small or start-up business
  • you introduce a low volume of chemicals (for example, you import 9 grams of resin for use in plastic coatings)
  • you introduce chemicals that you believe are non-hazardous, or have documentation to show that they’re not hazardous

You must register your business regardless of the quantity of chemicals that you import or manufacture – there is no threshold limit. Furthermore, your registration must be renewed each year that you continue to import or manufacture the chemicals.

Who doesn't need to register?

Some businesses don’t need to register with AICIS, as some chemical introductions do not need to be categorised and controlled. The exceptions are very specific and listed as the following:

  • Australian-made soap using lye and a maximum of 10 kg of fat or oil
  • Products made by blending ingredients that were only bought within Australia
  • Naturally occurring chemicals, extracted without chemical change
  • Non-isolated intermediates: produced in the process of manufacturing another industrial chemical, consumed during the manufacture, not intentionally removed from the equipment in which it is manufactured and not likely to be released into the environment during normal operations
  • Incidentally introduced chemicals arising from an incomplete reaction of materials used in the manufacture of another industrial chemical, or an unintended constituent present in the materials used in the manufacture of the other industrial chemical, or a chemical produced by the exposure of the other industrial chemical to light, heat or other environmental conditions during handling or storage, or a chemical produced by a chemical reaction during the manufacture or use of another industrial chemical
  • Chemicals unintentionally released from an article, such as chemicals leaching from a plastic chair during use or disposal, or chemicals leaking from a sealed battery cell
  • Transshipment chemicals, which are introduced at a port or airport in Australia, remaining subject to customs control and leaving Australia within 25 working days
  • Chemicals introduced incidentally on an aircraft or ship which are not freight
  • Chemicals introduced only for personal use, and NOT for any business activity
  • Foreign businesses using an Australian distributor (the Australian distributor must be registered with AICIS)
  • Articles not intended to release chemicals, e.g. a plastic table or chair.
  • Non-industrial chemicals

The definitions are covered in detail by a great deal of legislation intended to deal with specific situations. If your business is in any way uncertain as to your AICIS registration responsibilities, you are welcome to contact Maria Velez, our resident AICIS specialist.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


Danger: Uncertified Rechargeables Are On The Increase

Danger: Uncertified Rechargeables Are On The Increase


In just one year, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have directly caused over 1,000 fires in Australia.

When a lithium-ion battery combusts, there’s a thermal runaway effect – a chain reaction which causes the battery to burn intensely at extremely high temperatures, which can be almost impossible to extinguish.

Shoddy manufacturing of the device, its battery or the battery containment or management system can very often be to blame for battery fires. Sometimes the problem can be a faulty charging cable that causes overheating whilst charging, or consumers swapping out the battery with a cheap replacement.

ACCC REQUIREMENTS

Due to the potential danger posed by lithium-ion batteries, devices fitted with a power cell of this type are required by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to meet specific manufacturing standards and undergo rigorous testing before they can be approved for sale in Australia. There are also stringent requirements imposed on manufacturers regarding user instructions and product labelling.

Unfortunately, uncertified products do end up on sale, either as cheap imports sold through Australian stores or more commonly online. Not all countries have the same high manufacturing and safety standards as Australia, so when you’re buying rechargeable devices, it’s best to:

  • Buy your device only from reputable retailers and suppliers
  • Only use the chargers and cables that are provided by the manufacturer
  • Don’t leave devices charging overnight
  • Only charge on hard, non-combustible surfaces
  • Charge large battery devices in the shed or garage, not in living areas
  • Don’t tamper with battery-powered devices
  • Don’t leave devices in the sun
  • Never use a device if the battery is swelling, bulging, leaking, damaged or overheating
  • Never put batteries in the rubbish

If you are importing, manufacturing or retailing rechargeable devices, ensure your products and ancillary devices meet the ACCC compliance requirements – the agency is likely to impose substantial penalties on suppliers of non-compliant goods. If you’re uncertain as to the compliance status of your products, please contact us.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


An Energy Rating Sticker on an Electrical Appliance

GEMS - A HEADS-UP FOR AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS

GEMS - A HEADS-UP FOR AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS


The Australian government’s Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) act comes hand-in hand with ‘Determinations’ which specify the standards that any goods must meet before being allowed to go on sale. But as the agency strives to drive improvements in energy efficiency, the standards for appliances and equipment are regularly reviewed.

An Energy Rating Sticker on an Electrical Appliance

PRODUCTS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW

Any review by the government’s E3 programme (Equipment Energy Efficiency) can result in updated criteria for existing GEMS standards as well as the formulation of entirely new requirements.
Currently, the E3 programme is looking at a shortlist of 34 products, of which the agency says 26 are ‘top priority’ as they’re not currently regulated in Australia or New Zealand, but are regulated or endorsed elsewhere. The following are the products under investigation.

Products whose current standards will imminently expire:

  • Ballasts for fluorescent lamps
  • Transformers and converters for ELV lamps
  • Close control air conditioners
  • Distribution transformers
  • Set-top boxes
  • Computers
  • Computer monitors
  • External power supplies
  • Electric water heaters
  • Commercial chillers

Commercial and industrial products:

  • Pumps
  • Air compressors
  • Industrial boilers
  • Fan units
  • Electric motors
  • Cool rooms
  • Commercial ice makers
  • Commercial dishwashers
  • Commercial deep fryers
  • Commercial ovens
  • Commercial hot food holding cabinets
  • Office equipment: printers and MFDs
  • Lighting equipment (products not yet regulated, including some residential products)

Residential products:

  • Residential ovens
  • Residential cooktops
  • Residential rangehoods
  • Battery chargers
  • Ceiling fans
  • Water dispensers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Network standby
  • Small network equipment
  • Residential space heating
  • Residential water heating (assessment tool)

EXPECTED DEVELOPMENTS

The entire process of reviewing, shortlisting, consulting and producing new or updated standards and legislation takes a minimum of three years, having begun in 2021. Consultations with community and industry stakeholders have already taken place on many of the shortlisted products, the latest round of which closed in July 2023. This indicates that there’s a high likelihood of revised legislation appearing in 2024.

Ultimately, the government’s aim is to update much of its regulation to meet the current exacting standards required by the European Union. Any new requirements that come forwards will be published under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (the GEMS Act).

If your company requires help complying with the many product and equipment standards published in the GEMS Act please contact us.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


Different SPF Factors Written In White Sunscreen

New Sunscreen Standard Begins 1 July

New Sunscreen Standard Begins 1 July


From 1 July 2024, all new sunscreen products on sale in Australia must comply with the new 2021 Sunscreen Standard, the TGA has announced.

The main objective of the new Standard is to set up consistent testing and labelling instructions for sunscreen products or products which contain a sunscreen element. These instructions are aligned with wider international standards.

Different SPF Factors Written In White Sunscreen

What's in the new Standard?

Specifically, the new Standard adopts ISO 24444:2019 which increases the accuracy of identifying the SPF of a product, alongside ISO 24443:2021 which specifies new, more rigorous testing to determine the level of UVA protection. Also included is ISO 16217:2020 which regulates the determination of a product’s SPF after immersion in water. The new Standard introduces specific labelling instructions for the right way to apply aerosol and pump sunscreens (i.e., how much to use and not to spray the product on the face or in windy conditions).

Compliance deadlines

The Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) classifies sunscreens as either primary or secondary sunscreen products. Primary sunscreens are products marketed as being able to protect the skin from UV radiation. Secondary sunscreens are marketed as having a different primary function (e.g., moisturising, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle) while also providing a level of protection against UV radiation. The standard applies to both types of product and includes a flowchart to help companies determine what part of the standard applies to their specific product.

Existing aerosols and spray pump packs included in the ARTG prior to 1 July 2024 will have a 1-year transition period to comply with the new labelling requirements in the 2021 Sunscreen Standard.

All existing sunscreens products (aerosol and non-aerosol) included in the ARTG prior to 1 July 2024 will have a 5-year transition period where they can comply with the testing requirements of the 2021 Sunscreen Standard or the previous standard.

A better outcome for Australia

The new Standard will help to drive better health outcomes for Australians. Australia currently has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, placing a huge burden on the nation’s healthcare system.

For a review of your products, assistance with registration, and advice on compliance with the new Standard, please contact us.

Be summer safe 2024.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


A child with a toppling chest of drawers with warning labels montaged on top

TOPPLING FURNITURE - IMPORTANT NEW REQUIREMENTS

TOPPLING FURNITURE - IMPORTANT NEW REQUIREMENTS


A new information standard now requires furniture suppliers to provide safety warnings to consumers about the dangers of toppling furniture.

The new standard applies to certain types of furniture and stipulates that:

  • a permanent warning label must be attached to furniture which includes safety information
  • advice about anchoring furniture must be included in manuals and assembly instructions
  • warnings about the hazards of toppling furniture must be displayed in furniture stores and online.

A child with a toppling chest of drawers with warning labels montaged on top

The new standard, Consumer Goods (Toppling Furniture) Information Standard 2024, requires companies to comply from 4 May 2025.

Contact us if you need further information or advice on these new standards.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


A montage of product recall advertisements

PRODUCT RECALLS: STREAMLINE YOUR METHODS TO LIMIT THE DAMAGE

PRODUCT RECALLS: STREAMLINE YOUR METHODS TO LIMIT THE DAMAGE


WHEN IS A RECALL NEEDED?

As the supplier of a product, your company is responsible for ensuring that the product you supply is safe. Sometimes issues arise unexpectedly and your company will need to be ready to act.

There are many ways that you can be alerted to a safety issue, including via your supply chain, customer returns and reviews, overseas recalls of the product and media reports, to name a few.

You should recall a product immediately if you become aware that it:

  • has or could injure a person, including injury through foreseeable misuse
  • does not comply with mandatory safety standards
  • is the subject of an interim or permanent ban.

By having a recall system already in place, your company is ready to act quickly to prevent products becoming a wider safety hazard.

RECALLING THE PRODUCT AND INFORMING THE ACCC

When you recall a product you must tell the public the product is being removed from sale. You need to contact customers and suppliers to return purchased products for a refund, replacement or modification, or even to destroy or dispose of the product.

Within 48 hours of initiating a recall, you must tell the ACCC. You can submit a recall notification on the ACCC website.

If you have supplied the product to overseas consumers or companies, you must also tell them about the recall.

The risk of loss or damage increases if you delay initiating a recall or if you downplay the risk from the recalled product in your announcement. Either of these can lead to regulatory action by the ACCC.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE A RECALL

When you need to make a recall, it’s important that any language you use is clear, non-technical and unambiguous.

Your recall communications must describe the product, include clear images and explain what action to take, e.g. ‘stop using the product immediately and return for a full refund.’ They must also state any potential harm, without downplaying any risks, including if injuries or incidents have already occurred.

The method of communication can vary according to your company’s circumstances, but in all cases, the information must reach as many affected consumers as possible.
Direct communications can be very effective, e.g. emails, SMS messages, letters and phone calls. Using numerous communication channels will maximise the number of consumers you can reach.

If you don’t know who your customers are or where they are, you will need to advertise more widely – typically this would be via social media, in-store and online, but may also include paid advertising, media releases and by alerting industry bodies.

HOW LONG SHOULD A RECALL CONTINUE FOR?

There’s no set timeline for product recalls. When you initiate a recall and inform the ACCC, you will be contacted to let you know how often you should submit a progress report and what information to include.

Your company should continue providing remedies for consumers until all of the products are accounted for. If you reach a point where all products have been returned or disposed of, you’ll need to inform the ACCC, and the recall can be terminated.

It might not be possible to achieve a 100% return rate for all affected products, in which case you need to decide if your company has done enough to reduce risk to consumers. For example, you should consider whether you have:

  • communicated well with suppliers to make sure they understand the recall process by returning the product
  • communicated well with consumers, including advertising multiple times through a range of communication channels
  • achieved a return rate that fits the risk to consumers and the lifespan of the product
  • assessed the product’s failure rate by testing a sample of the returned products to see how many are likely to cause an injury if still in use.

Even if the recall is finalised, if less than 100% of products have been accounted for, your company may be required by law to continue to provide remedies for consumers indefinitely. ACCC will only finally close a recall when all of the affected products have been accounted for.

Product recalls by their nature are time consuming and expensive, stretching both human and physical resources in a company. If your company needs assistance with managing product recalls, please contact us. It’s possible you may be able to avoid product recalls altogether with the correct professional testing and certification.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


A Smart City Communications Network Graphic

A NEW COMMS AND CONNECTIVITY REALITY FOR AUSTRALIA

A NEW COMMS AND CONNECTIVITY REALITY FOR AUSTRALIA


ACMA, the statutory body which regulates communications and media services in Australia, has released a draft plan for the future of Australia’s airwaves.

ACMA’s remit covers internet and phones, TV, radio and content, spectrum and equipment compliance. With greater and greater reliance on connectivity through mobile networks, internet and satellite internet, it’s vital that spectrum usage is planned and that new devices are compliant with any new regulations.

Apart from private customers and businesses using mobiles, TV services and internet, the spectrum also supports the most critical infrastructure that drives Australia’s economy.

A Smart City Communications Network Graphic

AN ALREADY CROWDED SPACE

As the space becomes more crowded, coexistence of users on any given band must be considered so that for example, performers at large concerts can use wireless microphones without the risk of interfering with the next generation of railway communications used by the trains bringing fans to the venue.

One of the key elements of the draft plan looks at future use of the upper 6 GHz frequency.
Adam Suckling of ACMA commented:

“Internationally, the upper 6 GHz band is growing in importance for both 5G as well as the next generation of wi-fi technology, with strong and divergent views on the best use of the band. Accordingly, we are moving to the preliminary planning stage in order to come to a decision on the future use of this band.”

The outcomes from this draft will affect makers of all internet enabled electrical devices from TVs to washing machines, vehicle driver assistance technologies, as well as mobile phones, walkie talkies and more. the way these devices share the spectrum in the coming years will be crucial for Australia’s economy and the continuing efficiency of its critical services.

Consultations closed on 22 April, so we can expect a finalised plan from ACMA in the coming months. If your company needs advice on ACMA compliance, please contact us.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


a chemical factory surrounded by green trees

Important Changes to AICIS Starting 24 April 2024

Important Changes to AICIS Starting 24 April 2024


Numerous Updates To Categorisation, Reporting and Record-Keeping

Some important changes have been announced regarding AICIS (the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme) which come into effect 24 April 2024.

The changes cover both the general rules as well as the categorisation guidelines and are intended by the government to provide better protection for Australians and for the environment.

a chemical factory surrounded by green trees

Key Changes To The Rules:

  • Written undertakings will be replaced by records that will make compliance easier.
  • Greater acceptance of International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) names for reporting and record keeping.
  • Changes to the categorisation criteria to benefit local soap makers, introducers of chemicals in flavour and fragrance blends and introducers of hazardous chemicals where introduction and use are controlled.
  • Strengthening criteria and/or reporting requirements for health and environmental protection, for example to prevent persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from being categorised as exempted or reported introductions.

Updates To The AICIS Categorisation Guidelines

The ‘List of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation’ (the List) is a record of chemicals that both national and international expert bodies consider the most hazardous to human health or the environment.

The Updates to the Guidelines Include:

  • refinement of the requirement to check for hazardous esters and salts of chemicals on the ‘List of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation’ (the List)
  • provision to include highly hazardous chemicals on the List based on an AICIS assessment or evaluation
  • expanded options for the demonstration of the absence of skin irritation and skin sensitisation
  • more models for in-silico predictions and an added test guideline for ready biodegradability.

A further update will be published 24 September 2024 which contains the following changes:

  • For the ‘List of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation’ (the List): add chemicals based on current sources and add the ‘European commission Endocrine Disruptor List (List I) as a source.
  • Refined requirements for introducers to show the absence of specific target organ toxicity after repeated exposure and bioaccumulation potential.

For further information about how these changes might affect your products within Australia, please get in touch with our resident AICIS expert, Maria Velez.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


Two people catch leaking water in a bucket

Is your Compliance Program watertight?

Is your Compliance Program watertight?


Every business in Australia is subject to the federal government’s Competition and Consumer Act 2010. In very simple terms, the Act is in place to protect the Australian public by promoting fair trading and competition, and by setting rigid standards for product safety and labelling.

When businesses are small and growing, the Compliance Program can be simple, to serve the needs of the scale of the enterprise. But as businesses expand and become larger, increase their market share and offer more products, the Compliance Program must scale up too.

Two people catch leaking water in a bucket

What happens if the ACCC finds an issue?

A Compliance Program is not set-and-forget. It’s true to say that in the busy rush of growing and scaling up, many businesses overlook their Compliance Program and can easily fall foul of things like evolving product safety compliance standards, especially as product line-ups become more complex.

If the ACCC does find an issue related to the Act, a business can usually offer to sign a legal undertaking, committing it to taking steps to resolve the problem. It must be said that the ACCC may either accept or refuse the undertaking, depending on the nature of the breach.

If a business has an undertaking accepted but fails to comply with its terms, a legal penalty is very likely to be the outcome. In addition, the court can also order a business to implement a suitable Compliance Program.

What’s the most efficient way to implement a scalable Compliance Program?

A Compliance Program covers a wide spectrum of a business’ everyday activities, many of which are cultural, requiring implementation of sound business practices including staff training for eventualities such as handling customer complaints. More information about Compliance Program templates can be found at the ACCC website.

For many companies, the complexity comes from the ever-changing landscape of product safety standards which are also covered by the Act. Ensuring the company meets the requirements for product compliance will help the business to avoid an expensive mandatory product recall, avoid reputational damage and possibly damaging financial penalties for breaches.

To ensure that companies’ product compliance and certification remains continuously up-to-date, our VCM (Virtual Compliance Manger) product deals with every aspect of achieving and maintaining compliance, no matter how complex the product line-up.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.


New Mandatory Standard For Bicycle Helmets

New Mandatory Standard For Bicycle Helmets


The Mandatory Standard for bicycle helmets was updated on 22 March 2024, and is applicable to helmets worn when riding a bicycle as well as other wheeled recreational devices such as e-bikes, skateboards, roller skates, roller blades and scooters.

The standard sets out clearly defined requirements for design, construction, performance and labelling, covering the helmets’ impact absorbing properties, specialised product testing and safety information.

Bicycle Helmets displayed in a shop

The main changes to the standard made in the March update allows suppliers of bicycle helmets to comply with one of the following Australian or overseas standards:

  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 2063:2020 – Helmets for use on bicycles and wheeled recreational devices
  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 2063:2008 – Bicycle Helmets
  • European standard EN 1078:2012+A1:2012 Helmets for pedal cyclists and for users of skateboards and roller skates
  • US Consumer Product Safety Commission standard US CPSC 16 C.F.R. Part 1203 Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets
  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International standard F1447-18 Standard Specification for Helmets Used in Recreational Bicycling or Roller Skating
  • Snell standard B-95 1995 Bicycle Helmet Standard, 1998 revision, Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling.

Suppliers have until 22 September 2025 to transition to the new standard. Until then, the current safety standards will still apply.

If your company needs assistance with ensuring compliance with bike helmets, please contact us.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.