5 June 2015

Industrial chemicals assessment reforms – Regulation Impact Statement

Department of Health

On 26 May 2015, the Assistant Minister for Health announced changes to the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme new chemicals assessment arrangements. The changes will introduce a more proportionate risk-based framework and make greater use of information from overseas regulatory agencies.

The reforms are intended to maintain current health and environmental protections, while addressing industry concerns regarding regulatory costs and delays associated with pre-market assessments for new chemicals.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) analysed options for reform of the regulations and recommended a more targeted combination of pre- and post-market regulatory controls for new chemicals, and post-market regulatory controls for existing chemicals, with the assessment requirements informed by hazard and exposure. The changes are anticipated to streamline the process for introducing new lower-risk chemicals. The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) agreed estimated regulatory cost savings for industry to be $22.7 million a year for the preferred option.

The RIS was prepared by the Department of Health and assessed as compliant and consistent with best practice by the OBPR.

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