Submissions to the 2012 Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme—Estee Lauder 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: 12 October 2012

PDF printable version of Estee Lauder Pty Ltd submission (PDF 74 KB)

Estee Lauder Pty Ltd
John Koppl
Regulatory & Business Services Manager
02 9381 1263
+61414 381 195

165-175 Mitchell Road
Erskineville NSW 2043

LB 1050
Rosebery NSW 1445


H1—We support the changes proposed for the ACCC to take over administration of Cosmetics in Australia, we also support NICNAS being the assessment body for ingredients NOT already approved by another first world major economy, we DO NOT support continued NICNAS assessment/ reporting of ingredients that are readily approved for use around the world.

H2—We support the change from industrial chemicals to cosmetics, however we do not support making new lists. A positive list is just another version of AICS and will develop into just another inefficient process, a negative list already exists with the SUSMP process. We again point to the global nature of the industry, with major economies of the world accepting ingredients/ products that Australia deem to be different.

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?
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Chemicals in Cosmetics

Responsibility for administration and enforcement of the Cosmetics Standard 2007 be transferred to the ACCC, but assessment of chemicals in cosmetics would remain with NICNASQualified SupportWe support the proposed changes to move the regulation of cosmetics to the ACCC—as cosmetics are consumer products it is not appropriate for a chemical assessment agency to administer products that legislatively fall into the ACCC jurisdiction under the Australian Consumer Law.

We support the proposal for ingredients that have NOT been previously assessed for use by other international jurisdictions to continue to be assessed by NICNAS.

We do not support the continued laborious, ineffective and expensive assessment and management process followed by NICNAS for ingredients that are not on the AICS but HAVE been approved for use by the other major first world countries/ jurisdictions.
New provisions introduced into ICNA Act (and on AICS) to specifically deal with chemicals in cosmetics (not treated as industrial chemicals), eg a inventory of cosmetic ingredients , positive and negative lists, better alignment with international approachesQualified support This proposal we support to some degree—specifically aligning cosmetic ingredients that are already approved for use in major trading countries—we do not see any reason that we have a unique set of rules and regulations governing cosmetic ingredients that are used perfectly safely and normally in the countries in which our products are already sold.

We do also strongly support Accord’s comments on this issue and I quote specifically:

”Australia must move to a harmonised and flexible regulatory approach. New Zealand has adopted a pragmatic and flexible approach for the regulation of cosmetic products. While we are not advocating the New Zealand model for adoption in Australia we are advocating the adoption of a pragmatic and flexible regulatory regime which recognises Australia’s place in global trade and accepts imported products from comparable first world economies as deemed to comply with Australian regulatory requirements.”

We believe this approach would produce an outcome that, if products are sold and conform to the regulations, [packaging, claims, health, environmental, safety and such] of the major first world countries/ jurisdictions such as, UK, USA, Canada, EU, NZ and Japan, then they should surely be acceptable for sale in Australia.

Estee Lauder Companies also supports’, comments by the Personal Care Products Council on its submission, on positive/ negative lists for acceptable ingredients. A positive list specific for Australia would be cumbersome and just create delays refer again to the point above—already approved elsewhere why another list/ approval process for Australia. A negative list is already in place with the SUSMP, so reference to this process should be sufficient.

The Australian circumstance is not so unique as to warrant such extra an regulatory burden as is in place now, as Estee Lauder Companies products are sold so widely around the world including Australia, it is very inappropriate for Australia to have such different and inefficient regulations in the incorrect belief that products are safer or more acceptable.

Further additional information:

Estee Lauder Australia Pty Ltd would like it noted that we support the submission made on behalf of the whole industry by the industry body—Accord Australasia—specifically on Cosmetic Rules and Regulations—ingredients/ processes.

Being a global multi-national company selling 27 brands over 10,000 separate products in over 150 countries around the world, including all of Australia’s major trading partners, using thousands of ingredients, we find that the unique regime followed by Australia to be quite inefficient and inappropriate.

Estee Lauder Companies have thousands of ingredients that are used at all sorts of levels perfectly safely in our formulations to make safe and effective products for our customers. We take pride in our formulations, using the best available science and quality ingredients to produce wonderful, safe, effective and beautiful products for our customers. The ingredients used are approved for use by all of the major economies of the world, however quite an array, specifically the newer, safer, more environmentally friendly ingredients, are not on the AICS and require a very expensive approval and or management process for use in Australia.

Return to topAs a percentage of the total cosmetic products sold around the world Australia represents’ less than 2% of world trade however Australia has installed a unique set of rules and processes that in effect leads to nothing more than added cost and delays getting new products onto the market.

Any opportunity to streamline and reduce any unnecessary burden on business is definitely a benefit for all concerned and we support the recommendations proposed by Accord Australasia, as well we hope you take our comments here in good faith to try and help the efficient and effective regulation/ management of cosmetic products in Australia.

In fact, approximately 99% of the products sold by Estee Lauder Companies group of brands do conform, without any alteration whatsoever, to the rules and regulations of Australia, some additional labeling is required and sun screens need to be specialized. Therefore it is clear, our global products are perfectly acceptable for use in Australia exactly as they are produced for the global market, it is just that our Australian businesses are encumbered with significant regulatory processes that do not add any value to the business, the economy or consumer outcome.

An example of specific Australian regulatory burden is NICNAS Annual ingredient reporting, Estee Lauder Companies is required to provide information on approximately 825 commonly used cosmetic ingredients which are freely able to be used in cosmetic products anywhere in the world, that are not on the AICS. Some (550) are introduced in such small amounts that a combined total of only 335kgs across all 550 was reached in fiscal year 2011. There has not been any demonstrated benefit of this reporting to the community, to industry or government that we have seen. We also do not have any information as to what happens to, or how this information is used. This is an example of an area which could show immediate benefits if addressed.

In Summary, to have a unique set of rules and regulatory regime for Australia without a perceivable net gain, that adds costs, delays, and regulatory burden as the only outcome, is not in the interests of industry, the economy or Australian consumers. Return to top

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