On March 23, 2022, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Australia, published a roadmap for IChEMS and a draft of IChEMS principles is now available for public consultation until May 24, 2022. IChEMS is a national approach in Australia to help industry and governments manage the environmental risks of chemicals. It also aims to facilitate industry to choose less harmful chemicals. The legal basis of IChEMS is the legislation ‘Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Act 2021’ that was passed in March 2021.
The introduction of Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) in 2019 presents a new scheme for industrial chemical management in Australia. AICIS is responsible for regulating the import and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia and assessing risks to human health and the environment across the lifecycle of industrial chemicals. IChEMS operates closely with AICIS, including using AICIS risk assessments to schedule industrial chemicals on the IChEMS Register (a record of chemical scheduling decisions made under the Industrial Chemicals Environment Management (Register) Act 2021).
Earlier in the month, the Australian Government, Department of Health, has shared a complete list of chemicals on the Inventory. This downloadable inventory was updated till 10 February 2022 and the next update would be released in late 2022. The inventory contains around 40,000 chemicals that are being manufactured or imported (introduced) into Australia for industrial use.
In the initial plan published last year on IChEMS, companies importing or manufacturing chemicals were expected to pay the fee for IChEMS register from September this year. This will be delayed for a year from September 1, 2023. The fee structure will be announced after industry consultation in late 2022.
After the public consultation, the plans for IChEMS implementation can be expected from June 2022. In late 2022, the authorities plan to incorporate IChEMS Register into the regulatory framework and realize IChEMS vision and goals from 2023.
GPC has a legal entity in Australia and can help non-Australian companies to meet their compliance requirements as an Australian agent