New Zealand introduces new provision of nano labelling for cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union

New Zealand introduces new provision of nano labelling for cosmetics
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has announced that from the 1st July 2015, the presence of nanomaterials in cosmetic products available in New Zealand must be identified on labelling.

The new provisions are among amendments to the country’s Cosmetic Products Group Standard, which regulates hazardous substances in cosmetics.

The amendments include aligning the definitions of some cosmetic products with EU legislation and requiring manufacturers to provide batch and source code information on cosmetic labels, helpful for identifying products subject to a recall.

In addition, the substance o-aminophenol has been prohibited in hair dyes, based on the lack of information available to determine its safety. A twelve month implementation period will ensure phase out of the product.


In light of the new provision, the authority highlights that labelling should include all manufacturers' original source or batch code information to ensure that consumers or regulators can identify any product subject to recall.

Also, concerning nanomaterials, EPA states they must be clearly indicated on the product's list of ingredients and be followed by the word 'nano' in brackets.

“If a manufacturer, importer or distributor becomes aware that a cosmetic product presents a risk to human health after it has been placed on the New Zealand market, they must notify the EPA and provide details of the non-compliance and corrective measures taken,”​ says an EPA statement.

EPA is also calling for the adoption of the EU definitions for the terms 'preservative', 'colorants' and 'UV filter'.


The New Zealand EPA regulates ingredients found in cosmetics that may be hazardous with standards said to be closely based on the European Union Cosmetics Directive and the Cosmetic Products Regulation (which will replace the Directive from 2013).

The European Commission has proposed that the regulations relating to nanomaterials in cosmetics should be regularly reviewed, and that a catalogue of nanomaterials will be publicly available from January 2014.

The decision to implement this requirement is consistent with the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, which states the need for caution in managing adverse effects where there is scientific and technical uncertainty about those effects. The EU Cosmetic Regulation identifies that there is insufficient information available on the risks associated with nanomaterials.

The Authority has also adopted an amendment following discrepancies in the terminology used in the group standard that was noted by submitters. Therefore the term ‘nanoparticle’ has been replaced by the term ‘nanomaterial’ in the group standard, to align with EU regulation.

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