Australia sees high non-compliance for chemical cosmetics exemptions

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Australia sees high non-compliance for chemical cosmetics exemptions
Chemical regulator for Australia, Nicnas, reports that companies are claiming exemptions despite being unable to fulfill all the necessary criteria.

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) highlights how multiple companies are claiming exemptions for the use of new chemicals in the cosmetics industry, online chemical legislation reporter Chemical Watch stated.

Exemptions criteria

However, when this cosmetics use appears in low concentrations, the necessary criteria required for fulfilling the stipulated exemptions may not be necessary. New substances used in the cosmetics industry can be used in concentrations of 1% or less. At this level, notification is not necessarily required providing a number of conditions are met, known as exemptions.

The chemicals regulator reveals that companies are breaking the law by failing to meet these criteria. An offence under Australia’s industrial chemicals law, these companies may receive significant penalties.

Wider considerations

These exemptions are in line with protecting human health and the wider environment. As such, Nicnas registered businesses, otherwise known as introducers, need to show that their introduction corresponds with human health hazards, aquatic toxicity and other specific environmental criteria.

The most recent data from 2016-2017 shows that there were a total of  3,249 exemptions claimed for new substances used for the production of cosmetics in low concentrations.

Proposed reforms

Despite reports that Australia’s proposed chemical regulation would lead to added complexity​ following a consultation period in 2016, the country moves forward with its plans to replace its current chemical regulator with Australian Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme (AICIS) on 1st July 2018.

Visit Nicnas ​for more information.

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