Australia Government regulates the ingredients used in the production and importation of cosmetic products in Australia. Cosmetic products should fulfill the requirement of Cosmetic Standard 2007 which is an amendment of the Industrial Chemical (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989.

The definition of cosmetics in Australia is similar as that of the EU and US, i.e. a substance intended to contact with any external part of the human body, including the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and teeth, in order to clean, to change the appearance of, and to alter odor. Ingredients in cosmetic products are classified as industrial chemicals, and new cosmetic ingredients (not yet listed in the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances) are subject to notification to the National Industrial Chemicals Notification Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) for assessment unless they qualify for an exemption. Manufacturers and importers can check the conditions or restrictions of chemicals which are available for use in Australia, using the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS) and the NICNAS Cosmetics Guidelines.

In addition to regulation of cosmetic ingredients, there are also mandatory labeling requirement on cosmetic products according to the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Cosmetics) Regulations 1991. The list of ingredients should be listed on the packaging or on the product itself if it does not contain packaging.

The following products are regulated as therapeutic goods and are not regulated as cosmetics:

  • Products that meet the definition of therapeutic goods in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 including products that are for preventing, diagnosing, curing or alleviating a disease, ailment, defect or injury in persons;
  • Primary sunscreens with SPF ≥ 4 as defined in AS/NZS 2604:1998;
  • Antibacterial skin products where medicinal claim is presented on the label;
  • Personal lubricants.

Related Downloads

PDF Download NICNAS Cosmetic Standard 2007