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Retail licences for Schedule 7 (S7) poisons

Persons who hold a licence to sell Schedule 7 poisons (S7) by retail under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR) will be able to continue holding a licence under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (MPA) which replaced the HDPR on 27 September 2021. Persons seeking to apply for a new retail licence for poisons will be able to do so under the MPA.

Restricted S7 (RS7) poisons are high risk S7 poisons which are prescribed in schedule 1 of the Medicines and Poisons (Poisons and Prohibited Substances) Regulation 2021 (the Poisons Regulation).

Holders of an S7 retail licence will continue to be able to sell S7 poisons, including RS7 poisons, to persons who are appropriately authorised (legitimate workplace use or a substance authority holder or an approved person under the MPA). An Approved Person is a person prescribed under schedule 2 of the Poisons Regulation or schedule 1 of the Medicines and Poisons (Pest Management Activities) Regulation 2021 (Pest Management Regulation) and has the relevant competency or training to carry out the specific regulated activity without a general approval.

Authorities granted under the HDPR prior to commencement of the MPA will continue until the term expires or are surrendered or cancelled.

Applying for and holding a licence

In order to sell S7 substances by retail, you must hold an appropriate licence. Such a licence authorises the holder to sell S7 substances for purposes other than human therapeutic use (e.g. agricultural or industrial by retail). This includes:

  • S7 poisons
  • RS7 poisons
  • S7 pesticides
  • S7 fumigants.

Apply for a licence

Apply for a licence to sell S7 poisons by retail by using Poisons licence application forms and fees.

Multiple sites

The holder of an S7 retail licence who operates from multiple sites may request one licence covering all sites, rather than having a separate licence for each site. The licence fee will be calculated based on the number of sites under the licence.

Substance management plan (SMP)

Holders of an S7 retail licence who operate from multiple sites will require a substance management plan (SMP). An SMP is a document that identifies and addresses the risks associated with carrying out regulated activities.

The SMP must comply with the Departmental standard - Substance management plans for regulated substances (PDF 283 kB).

Licensees will have until 26 September 2022 to prepare and implement SMPs.

Recordkeeping and sales

The Poisons Regulation requires retailers to give the buyer an invoice which contains specific details (e.g. unique identifying number, date of supply, name and contact details of the buyer, etc). Copies of invoices must be kept for a period of five years.

Chapters 2, 3 and 5 of the Poisons Regulation set out further requirements for the possession and supply of regulated poisons.

As under the HDPR, a substance authority (licence or general approval) must be examined prior to the sale of the poison and sale must not exceed the maximum quantity of the poison authorised on the purchaser’s substance authority.

Access to S7 poisons

The Poisons Regulation requires the holder of an S7 retail licence to implement measures (e.g. verification of a purchaser's occupation) to ensure access to poisons is restricted to only authorised persons. For example:

  • a farmer can purchase S7 agricultural chemicals for use on their farm
  • a welder can purchase pickling paste containing hydrofluoric acid.

Schedule 4 of the Poisons Regulation prescribes certain workplaces as ‘excluded places’ that are not able to access S7 poisons unless they have a general approval. Examples of excluded places include:

  • childcare centres
  • businesses providing accounting
  • businesses providing advertising services.

Access to low risk fluoroacetic acid baits (LRFABs)

Under the MPA, landholders will now require a general approval to buy, possess and apply manufactured baits (e.g. Doggone or Foxoff baits) containing up to 0.05% 1080 (increased from 0.03% under the HDPR). These are called low risk fluoroacetic acid baits.

S7 retail licence holders must examine approvals issued to landholders prior to the sale of LRFABs baits. The same must not exceed the maximum quantity of the poison authorised on the approval or their agent.

Transport, storage and recordkeeping

Retailers must ensure that poisons are stored and transported in a manner that prevents access to unauthorised persons. The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council’s National Guideline for Retail Storage of S6 and S7 Poisons may be used to ensure compliance with the storage provisions of the MPA.

Related information

Departmental standards

Last updated: 24 September 2021