To freshen up, the cosmetic industry may from time to time introduce a new ingredient in its makeup, soap, shampoo, deodorant, hair dye and other similar products. To the extent that the new ingredient is a ‘new industrial chemical’, the current requirement is that such ‘new industrial chemical’ must be notified to the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS).

From 1 July 2020, following the recent passage of the Industrial Chemical Bill 2017, restrictions on the use of animal data in cosmetics will come into force in Australia. NICNAS itself will also be replaced by the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) from 1 July 2020.

The new regime will ban the use of animal test data that was obtained on or after 1 July 2020 in applications to introduce new industrial chemicals. The restriction applies only where that industrial chemical is to be used solely in cosmetics. It does not encompass new industrial chemicals that are to be introduced for more than one end use, where at least one of those end uses is not a cosmetic purpose. Details of the new regime will be the subject of yet to be made regulations.

The new provisions mean that manufacturers of cosmetic products and importers seeking to import cosmetic products into Australia will need to first assess whether the cosmetic products will contain any new industrial chemicals. If so, data in support of an application for new industrial chemicals with the relevant regulatory authorities may not include animal data. This is a change that reflects a global trend moving away from the use of animal data in cosmetics and the greater use of other test methods such as those developed by the European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing.