Chemical reassessment programme

The EPA's chemical management system aims to protect the health of people and the environment now, and for future generations.

Our chemical reassessment programme reviews hazardous substances already approved in New Zealand.

This can be done for a range of reasons - from making changes to the rules ('controls') on their management, or to reassess whether they should continue to be approved or not.

Chemicals of all kinds make a vital contribution to the daily lives of all New Zealanders, to our safety and wellbeing.

But our worldwide knowledge about chemicals and their effects increases every day through advances in science and technology. 

At times new information may indicate a chemical poses more risks than existed, or that we knew of, at the time it was originally approved for use in New Zealand - which may have been 10 years ago or more.

Under New Zealand law, a chemical's approval does not expire. Reassessment is the only formal legal process we can use to review the approval of a chemical classed as a hazardous substance.

The outcome of reassessment may be that an approval is revoked, banning the chemical; or that the rules controlling the chemical are changed; or it may be decided that no change is required.

Reassessments may be initiated by the EPA or by any other party. It is a two-step process. Reassessments can be complex, lengthy, and can cost more than $1 million.

Our reassessment priorities

Working with international counterparts, the EPA has identified a priority chemicals list of around 40 chemicals that require further review and scrutiny. We are reassessing chemicals on this list.

We have also screened a further 700 chemicals.

The priority chemicals list and the screened chemicals list are 'living' lists, and will be added to or otherwise changed as we undertake our work and more information becomes available.

Keep up to date

You can follow the latest information about our reassessment programme:

If you would like to get in touch with us about any aspect of our chemical reassessment programme, you can email us at reassessments@epa.govt.nz.

Screened chemicals list

How we screen chemicals for possible reassessment, and the 700 chemicals currently screened.

Priority chemicals list

Our priority chemicals list identifies the chemicals we believe are most in need of review here in New Zealand.

The reassessment process

There's a two-step process for reassessing hazardous substances.

Quick facts about the chemical reassessment programme

Some further questions and answers about what, why, and how chemicals are reassessed.

Apply for a reassessment or amendment

Anyone can apply to have a chemical reassessed, or to amend its approval.

Completed reassessments

This list shows completed chemical reassessments, with links to information about the outcome held in our application database.