Cosmetic Compliance
Intelligence & Solutions
New Zealand Cosmetic Regulation
Mar 13, 2024
Angelita Hu
Pedia Details Our Service

In New Zealand, there is no formal approval or registration process specifically for cosmetics. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer or importer to ensure that manufactured cosmetic products have a satisfactory quality and meet the necessary safety standards for use.

A product marketed as a cosmetic must comply with the Cosmetic Products Group Standard (hereinafter “Group Standard”) published by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). In addition to specifying rules pertaining to labeling, packaging, and storage, the Group Standard governs the use of ingredients.

In January 2024, New Zealand introduced a revised version of the Group Standard, which encompassed new rules for Schedules 4–8 concerning cosmetic ingredients, and the phase out of PFAS ingredients from cosmetics.

Part 1 Regulatory Framework and the Competent Authority

1.1 Main Cosmetic Regulations



Competent Authority

Latest Update Date

Cosmetic Products Group Standard

It is a set of regulations governing the safety and labeling requirements for cosmetic products in New Zealand.

Environmental Protection Authority

Jan. 30, 2024

Medicines Act 1981

The regulation defines cosmetics with secondary therapeutic usage as related   products.

Ministry of Health

Apr. 5, 2023

Guideline on the

Regulation of

Therapeutic Products

in New Zealand

It stipulates the requirements for new and changed related product applications.

Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority

Jan. 2023

1.2 Competent Authority

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for managing cosmetics, including formulating and releasing the cosmetic standards and rules around ingredients, labeling, packaging and storage; monitoring compliance with regulations related to cosmetics; and taking enforcement actions if necessary to ensure public safety.

Part 2 Cosmetic Products

2.1 Definition

According to the Group Standard, cosmetic product means any product or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (including epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or  teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition.

If a cosmetic product bears a claim that it is effective for a therapeutic purpose, the product is legally defined as a related product according to Part 7 of the Medicines Act 1981. To distribute a new related product, companies shall apply for an application to seek the consent of the Minister of Health.

2.2 Classification

The Group Standard provides a list of typical categories that it covers, which is not a definitive or exclusive classification but only intended to give an idea of the categories included.





Creams, emulsions, lotions, pastes, gels and oils for skin


Face masks (with the exception of chemical peeling products)


Tinted bases and cover make up (including liquids, pastes, blushes, as well as pressed and loose powders)


Toilet soaps, deodorant soaps


Hand sanitisers


Bath and shower preparations (including salts, foams, oils, gels, as well as scrubs)


Perfumes, toilet waters and eau de Cologne


Deodorants and antiperspirants




Shaving products (including creams, foams, as well as lotions)


Hair care products

  • hair tints and bleaches

  • products for waving, straightening, and fixing

  • hair setting products

  • cleansing products (lotions, powders, shampoos including anti-dandruff shampoos)

  • conditioning products (lotion, creams, oils and treatments including anti-dandruff   conditioning products)

  • hairdressing products (lotions, lacquers, brilliantines, gels)


Make-up powders, after bath products, hygiene powders


Products for nail care and make-up


Products for making up and removing make-up from the face and eyes, including mascara, eye shadows, eye liner, eyebrow pencils, gel cream lotions and eye patches


Products intended for the application to the lips, including lip liners, lipsticks, lip balm and lip pencils


Products for the care of teeth and the mouth


Products for external intimate hygiene


Sunscreen products


Products for tanning without sun


Skin whitening products


Cosmetic wipes and pads (wet and dry)


Anti-acne cleansing lotions, gels and wipes


Skin exfoliants, cleansers, astringents, toners, including peeling products


Personal insect repellents


Anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing products


Face and body paints


Toy cosmetic products

Certain items do not belong to any of the above category, such as tattoo inks, permanent make-up substances, tooth products, and other similar items are not cosmetics. For teeth whitening products that contain less than 8% hydrogen peroxide, they shall comply with the Dental Products (Subsidiary Hazard) Group Standard 2020, while teeth whitening products that contain 8% or more hydrogen peroxide fall under the regulation scope of the Dental Products (Oxidising Liquids and Solids) Group Standard 2020.

2.3 Ingredients

Schedules 4-8 of the Group Standard provides specific requirements and restrictions for different types of ingredients that companies must adhere to when importing and manufacturing cosmetics.  Besides, it is essential for companies to carefully review and ensure that the ingredients used in their products comply with the relevant schedules in Schedules 4-8 as below.


To bring in or produce a cosmetic product that includes nanomaterials (except approved colorants, preservatives, and UV filters), it is mandatory for companies to notify the EPA upon the initial importation or manufacturing of the product by sending the notification form to Companies are required to maintain a record of both the notification submitted to the EPA and the information about the specific nanomaterials used in the product. This record must be accessible for inspection whenever requested.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

In January 2024, the EPA released a ban on the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetic products. The ban consists of several provisions aimed at phasing out the use of PFAS in the cosmetic industry:

  • Import and Manufacture: Starting from 31 December 2026, it is prohibited to import or manufacture cosmetic products containing PFAS.

  • Supply: From 31 December 2027, the supply of cosmetic products containing PFAS is also prohibited.

  • Disposal: By 30 June 2028, all existing cosmetic products containing PFAS must be properly disposed of.

2.4 Labeling

The Group Standards impose several requirements for cosmetic labels, which specify that the labeling of cosmetics shall:

  • be written in English

  • list all hazards and tell the reader how to use the product safely

  • list all the ingredients in the product from the highest concentration to the lowest

  • provide information to help the reader contact the New Zealand importer or manufacturer

  • provide a batch code (this allows manufacturers and suppliers to identify when and where the product was made so they can clarify if it is too old to sell)

  • include recommendations about how to dispose of the product and packaging

  • identify any nanomaterials (microscopic particles) in the products as “nano” in brackets after the ingredient.

Certain restricted ingredients require specific label statements, which can be found in the Ingredient Schedules. Additionally, the Group Standard provides more detailed information on how ingredients should be listed on the label of a cosmetic product.

2.5 Claims

When companies make claims about their products being cheaper, superior, healthier, organic, or having other specific benefits, they are required to substantiate these claims with supporting evidence. If companies claim that their products are “certified organic”, they must provide a valid certificate as a proof. 

Part 3 Animal Testing Ban

In New Zealand, it is not allowed to use animals for research, testing, and teaching in the context of making cosmetics, including activities aimed at developing, producing, or testing cosmetics or ingredients exclusively intended for cosmetic use. However, it's important to note that the prohibition does not apply to the research, testing, or teaching related to an ingredient if it is being conducted for a purpose unrelated to its use in cosmetics.