All Australian businesses who ‘introduce’ (manufacture or import) industrial chemicals or products containing industrial chemicals (such as cosmetics, paints, and plastics) have compliance obligations under the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS). These obligations include registration as an ‘introducer’ with the AICIS, as well as the requirement to lodge an annual declaration.
What is an annual declaration?
An annual declaration is a legal declaration regarding the industrial chemicals imported or manufactured throughout the previous registration year. A registration year runs from 1 September to 31 August.
The purpose of the declaration is to ensure that all chemicals imported or manufactured are authorised in accordance with the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 (Cth) (Act). All introduced industrial chemicals must be included in the annual declaration regardless of category or quantity. The declaration must be filed online with the AICIS by 30 November. The party responsible for lodging the annual declaration is the operating entity registered as the ‘introducer’: it cannot be submitted by an agent or consultant.
Failure to lodge by the deadline
Failure to submit the declaration by the 30 November deadline will result in the following offences being committed for which the possible maximum penalties (under section 99 of the Act) are:
- a fault based offence: 300 penalty units ($66,600 for an individual and $333,000 for a body corporate)
- a strict-liability offence: 60 penalty units ($13,320 for an individual and $66,600 for a body corporate)
- a civil penalty offence: 300 penalty units ($66,600 for an individual and $333,000 for a body corporate)
Given the above, it is important to ensure that:
- you identify all ingredients or products that you manufacture or supply which are industrial chemicals under the Act;
- you determine whether your company is the ‘introducer’ in Australia of those industrial chemicals; and
- you determine in respect of each of those industrial chemicals whether that industrial chemical is authorised under the Act and, to the extent that you are the introducer, you submit the declaration on or before the 30 November deadline.
If you have any concerns in completing the declaration, we recommend that you obtain assistance well before the deadline.