Australia publishes guidance for categorising chemicals in toys


The Australian government has published guidance for manufacturers and importers of industrial chemicals used in children’s toys or care products, to help categorise the substances before they are introduced to the country’s market.

Under the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), companies placing these chemicals on the market for the first time must identify them as one of:

listed introduction – already in Australia’s inventory;

exempted introduction – considered very low risk to both human health and the environment and permitted on the market;

reported introduction – considered low risk to human health or the environment but must be registered with the AICIS and a pre-introduction report submitted; or

assessed introduction – considered a medium to high risk to human health or the environment and must be assessed before being introduced.

And, in a 31 May circular, the AICIS issued guidance to help manufacturers and importers of toys to do this.

It is designed to be read in conjunction with the online categorisation guide, updated on 28 May. It is aimed at:

importers and manufacturers of industrial chemicals used to make toys; and

importers of toys that are designed to “release a liquid containing chemicals”.

The placing of an industrial chemical on the Australian market for end use in children’s toys or care products is classified as a ‘specified class of introduction’. This means it is subject to additional – or different – requirements relating to hazard information, reporting or recordkeeping, depending on its categorisation.

The AICIS said it has an increased level of concern for introducing chemicals in these products because youngsters may be more vulnerable to potentially hazardous chemicals, especially because they often put items in their mouth.

According to the guidance:

a children’s toy is an object for a child to play with;

a children’s care product is a product intended to facilitate:

sleep, relaxation or hygiene;

feeding; and sucking.

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Chemical Watch, 17 June 2021