Emergency approvals

In an emergency you may need to use a substance in a way that is not approved. You can apply for an emergency approval to do so.

An emergency in this context can be a foreseeable event where the use of the substance is also foreseeable. For example, the use of a new dispersing agent to combat a particular type of oil spill.

You need an emergency approval to:

  • import any hazardous substance for release in an emergency
  • release any hazardous substance from containment in an emergency
  • use a hazardous substance in an emergency in a manner which would otherwise contravene the HSNO Act or any of its regulations.

If your substance is not hazardous or is already approved for your intended use, then you do not need an emergency approval.

There are two types of emergency approvals: an emergency approval, and a special emergency approval.

Emergency approvals

For an emergency approval an application must be made in advance (ie in anticipation that the emergency may arise at some future time).

To apply for an emergency approval please complete the emergency release application form and confidential appendix and send it to us.

These applications are processed via the publicly notified application pathway. This means the statutory timeframe is 100 working days. This also means that the public are given the opportunity to make submissions on the application and these are taken into account when the decision is made.

Emergency approval application form (docx 359KB)

Confidential appendix for all Hazardous Substances applications (docx 360KB)

Special emergency approvals

For a special emergency approval, the special emergency must be declared by the responsible Minister (as defined in the HSNO Act). Once a special emergency is declared, an application may be made to import for release, manufacture, release from containment or use of any hazardous substance.

To apply for a special emergency approval complete the appropriate application form and send it to us.

Special emergency applications are processed by rapid assessment. This means the statutory timeframe for processing this application is 10 working days. Also they are not required to be publicly notified.

Special emergency approval application form (docx 370KB)

Confidential appendix for all Hazardous Substances applications (docx 360KB)