Australia prepares to replace cosmetics regulation NICNAS

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Australia prepares to replace cosmetics regulation NICNAS
The present National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) cosmetics regulation, which covers a wide range of chemicals including cosmetics, will be reformed from 1st July 2018.

The consultation period for the proposed Australian Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme (AICIS) scheme continues. Under the new motion to modify the regulation, as of 1st July 2018, NICNAS will be replaced by AICIS.

Regulatory reform

This new scheme outlines that new cosmetics ingredients will be placed in one of five categories depending on their hazardous risk, in order to proportionally ascertain the dangers associated with the cosmetics items to both the user and the environment.

Asia-Pacific chemical regulation portal, Chemlinked, highlights how the upcoming Australian NICNAS reform plans to categorise these cosmetics​.

AICIS's current fifth consultation paper is open until 12th July 2017. It seeks to promote low-risk chemicals to encourage safer formulations. While Australia plans to strengthen its health and safety standards, it also aims to simplify the risk assessment process and increase the use of international guidance and materials.

This legislation focuses on governance as it will assess industrial chemicals that include cosmetics, along with widening its ability to audit and secure compliance. These changes seek to optimise cosmetics monitoring once items have reached the marketplace while lowering the evaluation period for low-risk cosmetics.

Key changes

The introduction of the AICIS will place five key requirements on cosmetics manufacturers and marketers in Australia as they develop items over the next year, prior to the 1st July 2018 deadline:

  • The introduction of an industrial chemical in Australia, through import or manufacturing, will require AICIS registration

  • The Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals (AIIC), which will contain details of existing industrial chemicals, will replace the existing Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS)

  • Any new industrial chemical that is defined as an item that is not listed on the Inventory, or an existing industrial chemical that falls outside the terms of the inventory listing that is introduced, must examine its hazardous nature. 

  • Those introducing new or existing chemicals into Australia will require knowledge on its intended use and potentially hazardous nature. Relationships need to made with international sources to obtain this information.

  • The AICIS statutory scheme plans to create five new industrial chemical categories based on their level of hazard and exposure: Exempted, Reported and Assessed, and unique and specific occasions: Commercial Evaluation Authorisation and Exceptional Circumstances Authorisation. 

International support

The reforms will gather several international risk assessments from China, Canada and the EU.

This regulatory replacement may create obstacles for cosmetics companies who will require extensive information and resources to collect data, along with R&D efforts to develop new innovations.

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