Assigning your product to an individual approval

You may be able to assign your product to an individual approval. Here is the overview to the process.

Please find below a brief overview of how to assign a product to an individual approval. More in depth information can be found in the related content, which includes the publication "Assigning your product to a HSNO approval", known to some as "the Blue Book".

Assigning a product to a group standard can be very technical so please don't be afraid to ask for help.

Before you start, you will need to know either the hazard classification of your product (this can be found on the SDS) or the exact concentration of all components of your product.

Step 1: Is your product exempt or excluded from the HSNO Act? Plus

Some products do not need an approval from the HSNO Act. These include non-hazardous substances, substances for use in an exempt laboratory, radioactive and infectious materials, foods (but not food additives) and ready-to-use human medicines. If your product fits these requirements you do not need to find a HSNO Approval. You may wish to double check to make sure your product is non-hazardous.

Step 2: Is it likely to match an individual approval? Plus

Broadly speaking, hazardous substances will have individual approvals if any of the following apply:

  • If you intend to use the product for biocidal purposes (killing something). These include pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides etc), vertebrate toxic agents, fumigants, antifouling paints and timber treatments.
  • If the substance is a fuel. These include petrol and LPG.
  • If the substance is high hazard it will not fit in a group standard.
  • If the substance has an individual approval, these are commonly single chemicals.

If your product falls within one of these categories, it is likely to not fit in a group standard. Looking to match an individual approval is appropriate.

Step 3: Are there existing individual substance approvals with the same active ingredient as your product? Plus

Broadly speaking, hazardous substances will have individual approvals for the following areas:

  • If you intend to use the product for biocidal purposes (killing something). These include vertebrate toxic agents, fumigants, antifouling paints and timber treatments.
  • If the substance is a fuel. These include petrol and LPG.
  • If the substance is high hazard it will not fit in a group standard.
  • If the substances has an individual approval, these are commonly single chemicals.

In the case of biocidal substances your product will match an approval only if the active ingredient (the biocidal agent) is in a similar range as that of the approval.

You may either already know of an approval a similar active ingredient concentration, otherwise you can look it up in our Controls for Approved Hazardous Substances Database. When searching, it is helpful to enter the active ingredient of your product into the database with percentage symbols on either side. For example, if the active ingredient is mancozeb, enter %mancozeb% into the database.

The active ingredient must be within the following tolerances:

Concentration of the active ingredient in your substance Tolerance
< or = 25 g/kg (2.5%) +/- 15%
25 - 100 g/kg (2.5% - 10%) +/- 10%
> 100 g/kg (10%) +/- 5%

If the active ingredient does not match the tolerance, you will need to contact us for a full approval.

Step 4: Classifying your product for its HSNO hazardous properties Plus

You can chose to self-classify your product, or ask for help to do this from either a consultant or someone at the EPA. To classify your product, you will require information on the hazards. It could be either from hazard data (such as toxicity data) on the product or the components, or information from the SDS or either the product or the components of the product.

Caution: The classification of a product is a very technical process, and you should ensure you fully understand what is involved before you decide to self-classify. We have resources that can step you through this (found in the related content links), but if you are at all uncertain, we strongly advise that you seek independent technical advice, or contact us.

Our database, the CCID, may provide useful information. Learn more about it here.

Step 5: Does your product match the HSNO classification of the existing approval and have the same physical form? Plus

You must ensure your product has the same HSNO classification as the existing approval. This means your product must have all the hazards listed under the approval you have selected.

When you select an existing approval in the Controls for Approved Hazardous Substances Database the hazard classification for that approval is given.

Your product must also have the same physical state and form as the existing approval. For example, if your product is a solid granule you can only match it to an approval that is in granular form.

If your product’s hazard classification and physical form does not match the approval you will need to contact the EPA to make an application.

Step 6: Do the uses of your product match the existing approval? Plus

Before you assign your product to an existing approval you must ensure its use is allowed by the HSNO controls. You need to read all the controls that apply to the approval you want to assign your product to. The Controls for Approved Hazardous Substances Database lists all the controls that apply to an approval.

You must ensure that your product will not be used for purposes that do not comply with conditions of the approval.

Step 7: Keeping a record of the self-classification and individual approval assignment Plus

Once a product has been assigned to an individual approval, you must keep a record of the self-classification and assignment and it must be available for inspection at the request of a HSNO enforcement officer. The record must contain sufficient information to allow for third party verification of the product classification and individual approval assignment.

Once the importer or manufacturer has assigned a product to an individual approval and completed the record, there is no need to notify the EPA. A copy of the record does not need to be provided to the EPA.