On January 11, 2019, the Australian government announced that it will further delay the implementation of the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), which is now scheduled to be implemented in July 2020.
The delay comes less than a year after the previous one. On March 9, 2018, the Australian government announced a delay in the commencement of the AICIS, which was expected to replace the Australian National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) in July 2018. The first delay was scheduled to last 1 year until July 1, 2019, in a bid to allow more time to consult on specific details of the AICIS and help regulated entities adequately prepare for compliance with the new scheme.
Issues surrounding additional legislation which is currently being developed to support implementation of AICIS is expected to be debated in the Senate in H1 2019 and for this reason the government decided to defer implementation for an additional year. Meanwhile, the ban on the testing of cosmetics on animals, which is included in the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 will also take effect on July 1, 2020.
Several public consultations were held seeking feedback on proposed changes and improvements to the existing mechanism provided in the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment Bill 2017. The announcement explicitly noted that these “early wins” (including reduced regulatory burden for some lower risk chemicals through removing certain annual reporting requirements and reforming the definition and regulatory treatment of polymers) will take effect shortly after the Industrial Chemicals Bill is adopted.