Sunscreens to be regulated under new laws
Under the new law, it will be mandatory for products to meet the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard.
On March 2, the Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Bill passed its third reading.
When the bill becomes law, sunscreens will be regulated under the Fair Trading Act and it will be mandatory for products to meet the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard. Companies that breach the requirements may face fines of up to $600,000. The bill will become law six months after it receives Royal Assent.
Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said this is good news for consumers.
“Until now the sunscreen standard has only been voluntary in New Zealand and it was possible to sell a sunscreen that hadn’t undergone any efficacy testing.”
Consumer NZ supported the bill but believes regulating sunscreens under the Fair Trading Act should only be an interim measure. The organisation wants sunscreens regulated as a therapeutic product (not a cosmetic), which would bring New Zealand in line with Australia.
Mr Duffy said complying with the standard isn’t enough.
“Sunscreens need to be tested regularly to ensure different batches provide the claimed protection, which the standard doesn’t require. Consumer has been testing sunscreens for many years and finds companies are sometimes relying on tests that are several years old to support their label claims.”