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Cosmetics FAQs

What regulatory standards apply to cosmetic products?

The following requirements apply to all cosmetics:

  • All importers of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients and manufacturers of cosmetic ingredients must be registered with NICNAS (see NICNAS Registration);

  • All ingredients in a cosmetic product must be listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS), or notified to NICNAS for pre-market assessment unless an exemption applies;

  • All ingredients not on the AICS and notified to NICNAS will be subject to public health, occupational health & safety and environmental risk assessment (see NICNAS Handbook);

  • All ingredients not on the AICS and introduced under an exemption from notification are subject to annual reporting and record keeping requirements. (For example, to demonstrate that the chemical presents no unreasonable risk to public health, OHS or the environment) (see NICNAS Reporting Annually);

  • All ingredients listed on the AICS are subject to review on a priority basis if any health and/or environmental concerns are raised. (see PEC);

  • All cosmetic products must be labelled in accordance with the Competition and Consumers Act 2010. For more detail on this requirement, refer to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), www.accc.gov.au;

  • Product liability is governed by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which allows for legal action against the supplier of a defective product that results in injury or loss;

  • Other regulations that may apply to cosmetic products include the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP), and related State/Territory legislation, Trade Measurement, occupational health & safety laws, trade practices regulation, transport of dangerous goods regulation, customs, quarantine and others.

The Cosmetics Standard 2007 describes additional requirements for six product categories.

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