Submissions to the 2012 Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme - Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd

The Discussion Paper: Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)–June 2012 was released on 1 June 2012. Submissions were received betweeen 1 June and 27 July 2012. The comments received from this consultation process will be used to inform the government of stakeholder views

Page last updated: 19 September 2012

PDF printable version of Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd submission (PDF 137 KB)

Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd
Margaret Richards
Regulatory Affairs Manager Skincare
02 8260 8551—phone
02 8260 8518—fax

45 Jones Street
Ultimo NSW 2007

Postal address:
Locked Bag 5
Broadway NSW 2007


Cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients should be regulated separately to industrial chemicals
It is important that requirements of future regulation of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients should be harmonized with that of other major trading partners including the US, EU, Canada and ASEAN to provide Australian consumers with choice of the most appropriate products at an acceptable price.

A one-stop shop for cosmetic regulation would help enhance compliance.

Part 8—Other reforms—chemicals in cosmetics (Option H1-H2)

  • If these options were (or were not) to be adopted, how would this impact on your organisation?
H1. Responsibility for administration and enforcement of the Cosmetics Standard 2007 be transferred to the ACCC but the assessment of chemicals in cosmetics would remain with NICNAS.

Positive: Since the ACCC administers the definition of a cosmetic in the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Cosmetics) Regulations 1991 and the Cosmetic Standard 2007 (Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 defines requirements for specific cosmetic product categories we agree that transferring the administration and enforcement of the Cosmetic Standard 2007 to the ACCC is a logical and positive step towards simplifying the fragmented regulation of cosmetics, aiding businesses to comply.

Negative: None identified

H2. New provisions could be introduced into the ICNA Act (and on AICS) to specifically deal with chemicals in cosmetics (rather than continuing to treat them like industrial chemicals). This could include a separate inventory of cosmetic ingredients, a list of ‘pre‐approved’ cosmetic ingredients, a list of ingredients that are not to be utilised (based on risk), and a separate list of data requirements for the assessment of cosmetic chemicals. Better alignment with international approaches would also be explored.

Positive: We believe that cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients should be treated differently and separately (i.e. outside the framework of the INCA Act) to industrial chemicals as is the case in most other markets and are pleased that the paper recognises that specific requirements for chemicals in cosmetics are needed. Ingredients in cosmetics should be considered in the context of the cosmetic product and not like an industrial chemical.
Under the current INCA framework many products marketed by our overseas affiliates are delayed to market in Australia while compliance to the current arrangements are verified or sought. Cosmetic ingredients requiring assessment notifications are delaying launches to market by 6 to 18 months. In some cases the data requirements for the new ingredient are above the capacity of the local company to support and therefore products containing this ingredient cannot be supplied.

We suggest that cosmetic requirements should be contained in specific regulation or standard for cosmetics as is currently the case with New Zealand and Canada. We applaud the suggestion that alignment with international approaches be explored and that this should not only include the EU system but all major trading partners of Australia such as US, ASEAN, Canada and New Zealand. This is extremely important to us, as although a global company, our products are not necessarily global as market preferences and usage of products are different between countries and cultures. For example:
    • fragrance preferences vary with different cultures
    • consumers who have inadvertently bought parallel imported products from different geographies including the EU complain that the fragrance of the product is different to the fragrance of the product they are used to buying (i.e. locally supplied product) and that they do not like the different fragrance
    • in India, children's body wash is commonly applied to the child's body, then the child is put into the bath water, whereas in AU and US markets the children’s body wash is added to the bath water
    • several Asian markets are concerned with skin fairness, Australians generally are not.
It is therefore not appropriate to supply Australian consumers with products from one country only. Products are sourced from different geographies according to consumer preferences and cost. Thus harmonisation of cosmetic regulation with more than one major trading partner (at least EU and US) is very important to enable supply of the best and most appropriate products for the Australian market at best available price.

In addition the onerous requirement to annually report volumes of new ingredients contained in cosmetic products should not be replicated into any new legislation concerning cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients. Under the current arrangements we have seen no output from NICNAS regarding this information and believe the benefit to the community in collecting this information is questionable.

The proposal as stated does not contain sufficient detail to allow us to determine the actual impact on our business however overall the ideas as stated are potentially of considerable benefit to our business in reducing complexity provided it harmonises Australia’s requirements with those of all major markets, particularly US, EU and ASEAN.

Although the above proposal potentially would provide considerable improvement it does little to simplify the fragmentation of the regulation of cosmetics. It would be ideal for compliance reasons to have a one stop shop for all regulatory activity relating to cosmetics. A framework that brings all cosmetic requirements under the one legislation would provide transparency and clarity for all stakeholders, and would encourage compliance.

The framework should be sensitive to the community’s views on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients and its requirements centred around formulated products.

A full list of all 2012 submissions can be viewed at June 2012 submissions to the review of NICNAS.