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New Zealand EPA Bans PFAS in Cosmetics

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of New Zealand released a ban on the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetic products by changing the Cosmetic Products Group Standard on January 30, 2024.1 

New Zealand is one of the first countries to protect consumers and the environment from PFAS. PFAS are often used in cosmetic products such as nail polish, shaving cream, foundation, lipstick, and mascara to enhance skin smoothness, durability, spreadability, and water resistance. However, these chemicals persist in the environment and can accumulate in the human body, potentially causing toxicity at high levels.

The decision to ban PFAS in cosmetics is part of New Zealand's precautionary approach to mitigating potential risks associated with these chemicals.

To ensure the safety of cosmetic products, regulate non-hazardous cosmetic products containing hazardous ingredients, and align with the rules in Europe, in addition to the PFAS ban, the Standard has undergone some other updates: 

  • including the non-hazardous cosmetic products that contain a hazardous substance in the Standard

  • updating the record-keeping requirements for nanomaterials

  • updating the ingredients scopes, amending clauses and conditions for label exemptions

  • improving the format, presentation, and searchability, etc. 

The Committee agreed the amendments will have the following transitional provisions

All amendments except PFAS 

Phase out PFAS in cosmetic products

Import and manufacture of cosmetic products in New Zealand

31 December 2025

Anyone importing or making cosmetics that contain a hazardous component must meet the new requirements.

31 December 2026

cannot import or manufacture cosmetic products containing PFAS ingredients after this date.

Sell through of cosmetic products

31 December 2026

cannot sell non-compliant cosmetic products after this date, including products that comply with the previous version of the group standard, Cosmetic Products Group Standard 2020 .

31 December 2027

cannot sell cosmetic products containing PFAS ingredients after this date.

Disposal of cosmetic products

30 June 2027

must dispose of all non-compliant cosmetic products by this date, excluding products containing PFAS ingredients.

30 June 2028

must dispose of any products cosmetic products containing PFAS ingredients by this date.

Tags : New Zealand
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