Australia passes new cosmetic ingredient regulations, says legislation consolidates information in one place for consumers, creates transparency, decreases burden for industry

CANBERRA, Australia , September 20, 2011 (press release) – The Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, has welcomed new laws to regulate ingredients in cosmetics which passed the Senate today.

“The new legislation will cut red tape, eliminate overlapping regulation between agencies and better protect public health,” Ms King said.

The regulation of ingredients in cosmetics has been split between the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the National Industrial Chemicals Scheme (NICNAS) which has been confusing for consumers and a burden on industry

“This new legislation finalises the transfer of the regulation of these ingredients to NICNAS while also allowing any conditions which have been put on their use by TGA, to be transferred to NICNAS.

“For industry this new law will mean that the ingredients in their products will automatically be included in the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS) without requiring further assessment by NICNAS

“This both addresses a public health gap and will reduce the regulatory burden on industry. The passing of the new laws completes the government's cosmetics regulatory reforms which we began in 2007.” Ms King said.

Ms King said the new laws also mean that consumers can find information in one place about the regulation of cosmetic ingredients, including the assessment of ultra-violet filters in secondary sunscreen products, which are one group of the cosmetic ingredients transferred to NICNAS under the cosmetic reforms.

“It also removes the need for NICNAS to prepare and publish a summary report for each chemical assessment as NICNAS now publishes the full public report for each assessment on the NICNAS website.”

The legislation also makes minor technical amendments to the Schedule to the Act to clarify certain data requirements for new chemicals and to maintain consistency with other national chemical notification schemes.

"The passing of the new Industrial Chemicals Bill is another example of the Gillard government delivering on its commitment for greater transparency in regulation, for decreased burden for industry while maintaining public health" Ms King said.

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