National and international regulatory frameworks

National chemical management schemes and international agreements support the framework for regulating potentially harmful chemicals in NSW.

Four national regulators oversee assessment and registration schemes for specific types of chemicals.

National chemical management schemes and regulators

  • The National Registration Scheme for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRS) is administered by a partnership of Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The APVMA regulates agricultural and veterinary chemicals (pesticides and veterinary medicines) up to – and including – the point of retail sale. State and territory agencies are responsible for regulation beyond the point of sale.
  • The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates therapeutic products (medicines and medical devices) throughout their lifecycle through risk assessment, post-market monitoring and enforcement of standards. Depending on their level of risk, medicines must be registered or listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods before they can be supplied in or exported from Australia.
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) assesses food additives for their safety and appropriate consumption levels. It also develops and administers the Food Standards Code to regulate the use of additives and other chemicals used in (or with) food, including contaminants and natural toxicants. Food standards are enforced by the states and territories.
  • The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS)  assesses industrial chemicals for health and environmental risks when used in Australia.
  • The Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) is a national approach to managing chemical import, use and disposal and sets specifies risk management measures for chemicals. The IChEMS Online Register lists chemicals in one of seven schedules based on their relative environmental risk. To have your say on any proposed scheduling decisions, see the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) IChEMS scheduling webpage. You can also receive notifications from DCCEEW when scheduling proposals are open for public consultation by subscribing to their mailing list. To subscribe please email

The national Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) is a national approach to managing chemical use, storage, handling and disposal. It will deliver more consistent environmental regulation and make it easier for industry to choose less harmful chemicals.

What the IChEMS register means for business

Businesses who use industrial chemicals will be required to comply with the risk management measures recorded in the IChEMS Register for each scheduled chemical. To provide consistency, IChEMS will be implemented through legislation in every state and territory of Australia, including the Commonwealth.

The IChEMS Register is now live

Listing of chemicals on the Register began in December 2022 when the first scheduling decisions for eight chemicals were made under the national Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Act 2021

Three chemicals of high concern to the environment listed on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and 5 chemicals of lower concern that were recently granted an Assessment Certificate by the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) are the first to be listed.

The listings include risk management measures for managing the chemicals.

The Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Wateralso has a role in chemicals management. This includes

International chemicals agreements

Australia is a signatory to several international agreements which require stringent approaches to managing hazardous chemicals. These include

More information on Australia's participation in international chemical agreements is available on the AICIS website.

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