Cosmetics safety international Standards meeting in New Zealand for the first time

Issue 32 – October 2011

In November, Standards New Zealand and the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) will host International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 217 meetings for cosmetic Standards. This is the first time these meetings, which focus on the safety of cosmetics, cosmetic production, and international best practices, have been held in New Zealand.

Up to 80 international experts will attend the meetings in Auckland to ensure that cosmetics continue to be among the safest products available in the market. Attendees will complete several sunscreen test Standards, including critical components for the revision of the joint Australian New Zealand Sunscreen Standard, which is due for completion this year. Other Standards being developed at these meetings include technical definitions and criteria for Natural and Organic ingredients and products, the presence of heavy metals in cosmetics, and nanotechnology use.

'These meetings demonstrate the high value that safety is given by the industry and regulators through the level of voluntary commitment in participating in these meetings,' says Garth Wyllie, CTFA Executive Director. 'We set down Standards through these meetings based on the best expertise available. Many countries accept these Standards, either directly through recognition or indirectly through adoption of the key components, within their own national Standards.' This means that a cosmetic product made for the US, EU, Australia and many parts of Asia provides an assurance of safety when these Standards are used.

ISO's Standards for good manufacturing practice, microbiological testing, and labelling are the benchmarks for many countries including the US and Europe. New Zealand through its cosmetic group standard adopts the EU regulations in a large part and recognises labelling from the US, EU, and Australia as complying with New Zealand requirements.

In a truly global market like cosmetics, it is important that New Zealand manufacturers and exporters can have confidence in adopting Standards that will be accepted internationally to ensure their products can be sold in our key markets as well as in New Zealand. It is equally important we have confidence in the absolute safety of cosmetics sold in New Zealand. The ISO process underpins both outcomes.

Summarised from a Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association media release 13 September 2011.

Published in consumer and occupational safety.