Improving chemicals regulation
All Australian governments are working together to strengthen chemicals management laws to protect our land, air and water.
We have established the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard – or IChEMS – to help industry and governments manage the environmental risks of chemicals.
IChEMS is a national approach to managing chemical use, storage, handling and disposal. It will deliver more consistent regulation and make it easier for industry to choose less harmful chemicals.
This work is being delivered in two stages.
Phase 1 includes the creation of legislation. The Industrial Chemicals Environment Management (Register) Act 2021 passed both houses of parliament on 18 March 2021.
Under the Act, chemicals will be categorised and scheduled on the IChEMS Register based on their level of concern to the environment. This will help government, industry and the community make informed choices about chemicals.
The IChEMS Register will be a single consistent source of information on how chemicals should be managed.
Before chemicals are scheduled, the IChEMS Register and decision-making principles must be made. An expert advisory committee must also be appointed.
In phase 2, the IChEMS Register will be incorporated into the laws of each jurisdiction.
This means environmental risks will be managed consistently across states and territories, in Commonwealth areas and at Australia’s borders.
A consistent system to regulate chemicals will result in better protection of human health and the environment. It will make it easier and more efficient for industry to manage chemical risks.
We’ll continue to provide updates on our progress during this phase.
Australia Government, 10 December 2021