Laws & Regulation: Top news on cosmetics regulation across the APAC region

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

We round up of our most-read cosmetics regulation stories of the region. ©GettyImages
We round up of our most-read cosmetics regulation stories of the region. ©GettyImages
We round up of our most-read cosmetics regulation stories of the region, featuring animal testing in Australia, updates on Indonesia’s mandatory halal law and more.

1 – It’s official: Australian Government passes bill to end animal testing for cosmetics

The Australian Senate just passed a bill to effectively ban cosmetic testing on animals in Australia​ in a move that has been described as a ‘huge win’ for animals, consumers and science.

The government's Industrial Chemicals Bills 2017, includes measures to prohibit reliance on new animal test data for chemicals introduced into Australia for use as ingredients in cosmetics.

“This ban reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics cruelty, and the will of the Australian public which opposes using animals in the development of cosmetics,”​ said Hannah Stuart, HSI Campaign Manager for #BeCrueltyFree Australia.

“We thank the Government for showing leadership on this important issue, and HSI will continue to work with them to implement the commitments and enforce a robust ban. This is a huge win for animals, consumers and science.”

2— Mercury alert: Five cosmetic creams found to contain vast quantities of undeclared ingredients in Singapore

Five cosmetics creams in Singapore have been found to contain potent undeclared ingredients​ – with one possessing mercury levels which exceeded the permissible limits by more than 40,000 times.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is now alerting retailers and the public not to purchase or use the following cosmetic creams:

- ‘Deeja Cosmetic Sun cream’
- ‘Deeja Cosmetic Wrinkle cream’
- ‘Deeja Cosmetic Dream cream’
- ‘RDL Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1’
- ‘RDL Face Off Fade-Out Cream Day Cream 5 in 1’

HSA has tested these five creams and found them to contain undeclared potent ingredients such as hydroquinone, a skin lightening agent, and mercury, a toxic metal.

3 – Halal personal care windfall: Indonesia hopeful new law will lead to business boom

Indonesia’s government may see a windfall of US$1.6bn by issuing Halal certificates​ for consumer goods from shampoos to toothpaste and cosmetics, according to the new government agency in charge of its implementation, once mandatory Halal labelling is introduced.

A draft regulation, which is awaiting President Joko Widodo’s approval, will enact the long-awaited overhaul Halal certification rules for consumer products and services.

 Under the law, which will be implemented on October 17, pending Jokowi’s signature, non-compliance will result in administrative penalties after a three-year grace period.

4 –'Morning routine’: Sunscreen guidance revamped by safety bodies in Australia and New Zealand

The organisations responsible for sun safety advice in Australia and New Zealand have adopted a new policy on sunscreen use​, recommending that people apply it daily as part of a regular morning routine.

The policy change follows a national Sunscreen Summit at QIMR Berghofer in Brisbane last year, at which representatives from some of Australia’s leading research, medical, public health and advocacy bodies examined the current evidence on sunscreen use.

The recommendation is outlined in an article – led by Professor David Whiteman and Associate Professor Rachel Neale from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute – which has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

5 – US firm e.l.f. Cosmetics fined nearly $1m for using North Korean materials

Californian beauty firm e.l.f. Cosmetics Inc. fined almost a million dollars​ after 'unwittingly' violating the North Korea Sanctions Regulations by importing false eyelash kits that contained materials from the country.

The US Treasury department issued a statement on Jan 31 stating that e.l.f. Cosmetics has agreed to pay $996,080 to settle its “potential civil liability for 156 apparent violations” of the North Korea Sanctions Regulation (NKSR).

The affected shipments of products were valued at $4.43m.

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