How to register an oil spill control agent

Apply for acceptance on the oil spill control agents register.

For a responder to use an oil spill control agent (OSCA) in a response in Australia, the OSCA needs to be registered. Once registered, the use of these products to assist in oil spill clean-up in Australian Waters during a National Plan response is protected under an exemption under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Oil spill control agents may be used to assist in oil spill clean up in Australian waters. Read what is an oil spill control agent?


In Australia, we expect an oil spill control agent applicant to present evidence on efficacy, toxicology and biodegradation potential, before an oil spill control agent is accepted on to the register.

Products will be on the register for five years. If the oil spill control agent formulation or testing protocols have changed, re-testing may be required at the end of this time.

Read the oil spill control agent policy.


Once registered as an oil spill control agent, the chemical may still require specific approval to be used in a spill response from the incident controller and any regulatory authorities.


AMSA has National Plan stockpiles of dispersants, and the equipment and capability to use these in a spill response, including the National Plan fixed wing aerial dispersant capability arrangements. Other response agencies, in the ports, maritime and oil and gas sectors, may also hold inventories of oil spill control agents and the means to deploy them.


Responders monitor the spill and the response to determine what needs to be done and how effective the response is. This is called response phase or operational monitoring. When an oil spill control agent is used, its use should be monitored to determine how effective it is, whether the response, including the use of the oil spill control agent, has been effective, and whether the response may have added to the overall effects of the spill.  

Apply to register an oil spill control agent

To make an application for acceptance onto the oil spill control agent register, you need to:

  1. Read the May 2015 oil spill control agent policy—all the information an applicant requires to make an application for oil spill control agent register listing is included in the May 2015 oil spill control agent policy, including the application form.
  2. Complete the testing process.
    • the reference test oils for all oil spill control agent tests are the AMSA supplied Kuwait crude oil and commercially obtained IFO180 and IFO380
    • Dispersants must go through the Mackay efficacy test protocol.
  3. Provide evidence of successful test results—all products (including those oil spill control agents with similar or identical formulations to those within the existing National Plan inventory) need to successfully complete the testing process to gain listing on the oil spill control agent register.
  4. You may use the application form in the Policy document or use the electronic OSCA application form.

Inclusion of a product on the oil spill control agent register is not an endorsement of a product for use in any particular oil spill response operation.

Mackay Testing Laboratories

Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries
2A Bellarine Highway, Queenscliff, VIC 3225 
PO Box 114, Queenscliff, VIC 3225 
Contact person: Trevor Theodoropoulos
T: (03) 5258 0253; Mob: 0410 562 952

Resources and Chemistry Precinct
Manning Rd,
Bentley, WA 6102
Contact person: Leif Cooper
T: (08) 9422 9800; Mob: 0414 993 888

Intertek—Exploration and Production
41-45 Furnace Road,
Welshpool, Western Australia 6106 
Contact Person: Dr Tristan Stringer—Principal Ecotoxicologist—Environmental Services and Ecotoxicology
T: (08) 9263 0261 (direct)
T: (08) 9263 0263 (reception)
M: 0448 161 528

Oil spill control agent register

Oil spill control agent register

The National Plan is always looking for new oil spill control agents. Please contact us to assist you through the process of oil spill control agent registration.

Last updated: 

Tuesday 11 August 2020