Australia’s AICIS regulations: How to register

  20 April, 2021

Australia’s AICIS regulations:
How to register

Did you know that almost all cosmetic ingredients are actually regulated as industrial chemicals, including those that are referred to as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’? If you are a manufacturer or importer of cosmetic ingredients and looking for a market-entry in Australia, you must be aware that every chemical within its territory is regulated as per its use. The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), which replaced the preceding National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) on July 1, 2020, aims to regulate industrial chemicals entering the Australian territory for commercial purposes by stringently assessing risks they pose to human health and the environment.

To help strategize your market expansion plans in Australia, provided below is a set of information that will help ensure a smooth, compliant, and timely entry.

Steps to introduce an industrial chemical into Australian market:

Step-1 Determine if importation of your industrial chemical product or a cosmetic that releases an industrial chemical requires business registration.

Step-2 If yes, register your business or renew it in any given registration year (1 September to 31 August)

Step-3 Search if the chemicals are ‘listed’ in the Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals (Inventory)

  • If the chemical is already available in the inventory without any regulatory obligations, you are authorized to import or manufacture the chemical as a listed introduction, provided you keep records of your chemical introduction.
  • If the chemical is available in the inventory but with regulatory obligations, you must submit an annual declaration at the end of the registration year and keep records of your chemical introduction. The regulatory obligations could be of the following nature:
    • Chemical with a specific information requirement – Submit the required information
    • Chemical with a defined scope of assessment – If the chemical is outside the parameters of a defined scope of assessment, work out your introduction category or apply to vary the terms of Inventory listing (fee applicable)
    • Chemical with a condition of use – If the chemical does not meet the conditions of use, apply to vary the Inventory terms of listing

Step-4 If the chemical is not present in the inventory, you must categorize your chemical into any one of the following introduction categories set by AICIS-

  • Exempted
  • Reported
  • Assessed
  • Commercial Evaluation

Step-5 Irrespective of the introduction category of the chemical, chemical records must be kept, and an annual declaration must be submitted at the end of every registration year. As AICIS was implemented from July 1, 2020 - the first annual declaration is due by 30 November 2021 which covers the period from 01 July 2020 to 31 August 2021.

Cosmetics Compliance

Once the category of your chemicals is determined, its risks are assessed, and all obligations are done, each cosmetic ingredient and finished cosmetic product must comply with a set of regulatory labeling guidelines. A given cometic label must include-

  • Brand name of the product
  • Product Identity
  • Net contents declaration
  • Product ingredient list
  • Directions for use
  • Warnings
  • Name and address of local representative/importer in Australia
  • Contact details of local person to report any adverse events
  • Country of origin


Before you decide to expand the global market reach of your cosmetic company, it is crucial to understand that different regions of the world adhere to different regulations in terms of product types, registrations, ingredients, and labeling to name a few. Even though many of the above aspects may seem daunting in the beginning, collaborating with capable regulatory partners to help you navigate through regulatory complexities and keep you informed of the latest updates can be rewarding for your brand and consumers alike. For a smooth market entry into Australia in a compliant, timely, and cost-effective manner, our skilled team of cosmetic industry experts at Athreva could assist you across a diverse range of cosmetics regulatory services right from performing a compliance check and categorizing your chemicals to business registration, record keeping and filing annual declaration.

The author of this blog Dr. Sravya is one of our in-house cosmetic regulatory experts. With hands-on experience in consulting for cosmetic manufacturing companies worldwide, her sharp eye for detail speaks for itself. You can find her on Linkedin.

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