A major reform achieved this year involved the review of the cosmetic/therapeutic interface; a project undertaken jointly by NICNAS and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This culminated in the Government announcing on 1 November 2005 a major refocusing of cosmetic regulations. This has shifted low risk products from within therapeutic regulations to coverage under NICNAS (for cosmetic and personal care products). Importantly, it has led to the development by NICNAS of a Cosmetic Guideline that provides clear and transparent criteria to defining cosmetic rather than relying on a claims-based system. This has been structured in a way that allows industry the flexibility and choice of whether to market certain goods as either therapeutics or cosmetics.
The cosmetic reforms have not only reduced the regulatory burden, they have reduced complexity in the regulations and enhanced the level of consumer safety information as well as enhancing environmental safety for such products. Given the significance of the reforms, NICNAS has taken the unusual step of introducing interim arrangements so as to allow industry immediate access to the changes. Since February 2006, industry has made 63 applications with 42 permits issued resulting in a conservatively estimated saving to the sector of over $100 000.