So far in Australia, the regulation of ingredients used in cosmetic products has been split between the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the National Industrial Chemicals Scheme (NICNAS). Such a situation “has been confusing for consumers and a burden on industry,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, welcoming the vote of the law changing the requirements applicable to the notification and assessment of industrial chemicals.
“The new legislation will cut red tape, eliminate overlapping regulation between agencies and better protect public health,” she added.
In practice, the vote of The Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Inventory) Bill 2011, means that the TGA will transfer the monitoring of ingredients used in cosmetic products, in particular ultraviolet filters, onto the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).
“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,” explained Catherine King. “The passing of the new laws completes the government’s cosmetics regulatory reforms which we began in 2007.”
A consequence of the new law is also that all the information regarding substances used in cosmetic products will now be available from NICNAS, in particular trough its website. According to Ms King, consumers now 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.”
The new law 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.