Our overseas supplier won't reveal their secret ingredients (ie CAS numbers) for us to introduce - so we can't import their products.

There goes our business. That's the main problem.

Ask the supplier to introduce for you?

The overseas supplier is not permitted to introduce a chemical. It must be a local entity which registers with AICIS and does the actual introducing.

Our business is insufficient to warrant our overseas supplier setting up locally.

But you can introduce with a written undertaking?

Or with a reasonable expectation. But that doesn't solve the problem.

We are talking trade secrets here. Our overseas supplier simply won't take such risks. Their shareholders would disapprove.




When push comes to shove, AICIS's requirement for information is legislatively non-negotiable.

Overseas supplier requirements to protect trade secrets is likewise non-negotiable.

AICIS cannot keep secrets. The law says they must reveal information under particular circumstances.

Sadly, that includes AICIS revealing it to employees or contractors of the Executive Director and/or other government departments even in other countries let alone other sovereign states and territories in Australia.

That severely stresses confidence in confidentiality.

No solution?

The law is the law and business is business. Some trade secrets will therefore not be imported/sold.

Politicians who framed the Industrial Chemicals Act might see that as a good thing.

Industry knows otherwise.

Secret does not mean "bad".




For every "bad" ingredient caught by this problem there are many times more "good" chemicals which likewise get caught.

Considering the number of products involved, Australia is losing a lot of business not to mention the productivity those products promise.




It is impossible to say with certainty how drastic the problem might be unless the Pareto principle is invoked. That is to assume 20% of the chemicals are causing 80% of the wider problem.

Assume therefore 20% of chemicals simply should not be introduced in Australia because they are genuine trade secrets.

There is no solution under the law for chemicals making up that 20%. That business is lost.

We need a solution that permits 80% of introductions




Chemintro was designed to keep information in leak-proof silos.

An overseas supplier can easily use Chemintro privately to review products and ingredients to know whether there will be any difficulty introducing any of the ingredients.

That can be done anywhere in the world in full secrecy in minutes rather than hours or even days!

Provided ...

... those ingredients are among the aforementioned 80%, then the overseas supplier can comfortably delegate introduction to the local introducer.

Thanks to Chemintro, the overseas supplier knows exactly what information is required for each introduction.

A judgement can be made to provide as little information as necessary to the local introducer - thereby protecting applicable trade secrets.




  • In collaboration with the local introducer, the overseas supplier reviews products/ingredients and selects a product with multiple ingredients for a trial introduction into Australia
  • Overseas supplier registers in Chemintro (not AICIS) and does a bulk import for the selected product. That immediately shows the AICIS inventory status of all Listed ingredients and shows which ones need to be categorised for introduction.
  • Without needing to know anything about Australian regulations and without reference to the local introducer - other than for estimated annual product volume - the overseas supplier can categorise ingredients and produce (private) introduction reports which indicate the precise information required for correct introduction into Australia - if AICIS requests it.
  • Overseas supplier would then review that information and decide to delegate introduction(s) without CAS numbers to the local introducer. The information would include Category, GHS hazards and maximum rather than accurate proportions in the product.
  • Such delegation does indicate to the local introducer that it is reasonable to expect the overseas supplier to provide additional information directly to AICIS if requested. (NB: One of the Chemintro reports sets out the consequences of failure to provide additional information if requested)
  • Local introducer uses the overseas supplier provided information to introduce the chemicals
  • If AICIS does ask for information, the overseas supplier will have already generated the necessary reports (third step above) containing as much information as AICIS could want including nominating which test results might be requested. It would be for the overseas supplier to decide how much of that to reveal if requested.

This is not a full solution but it is certainly a useful interim solution for (say) 80% of introductions from overseas.