The proposed amendments which follow changes made to European legislation, in particular the European Union Cosmetics Directive, on which the Group Standard in New Zealand is closely based, and the new Cosmetic Products Regulation, which will replace the Directive from 2013.
The Cosmetic Products Group Standard regulates cosmetics, including toiletries, sunscreens, oral hygiene and other personal care products that contain hazardous substances, in New Zealand.
As well as inviting submissions on the amendments, EPA has also put forward a number of proposals that it expects to be considered.
The first is that labelling should include all manufacturers' original source or batch code information to ensure that consumers or regulators can identify any product subject to recall.
Also, concerning nanomaterials, EPA states they must be clearly indicated on the product's list of ingredients and be followed by the word 'nano' in brackets.
“If a manufacturer, importer or distributor becomes aware that a cosmetic product presents a risk to human health after it has been placed on the New Zealand market, they must notify the EPA and provide details of the non-compliance and corrective measures taken,” says an EPA statement.
EPA is also calling for the adoption of the EU definitions for the terms 'preservative', 'colorants' and 'UV filter'.
More effective and efficient
The reason for this announcement is due to the Authority’s belief that a group standard for cosmetic products is a more efficient and effective instrument for managing the risks associated with these substances.
EPA also believes that changes to the Cosmetic Products Group Standard reflect best international practices in the management of cosmetic products and that the amendments will ensure there are no barriers to trade, while at the same time safeguarding public health.
Following public consultation, the EPA will consider the proposed amendments in light of the submissions received, before deciding what changes to adopt. Submissions must be received by 31 January 2012.