The new law regulating sunscreens in NZ is now in force
The Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Act is now law. Sunscreens are now regulated under the Fair Trading Act (FTA) and it is mandatory for products to meet the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard. Companies that breach the requirements face fines of up to $600,000.
CHPNZ, on behalf of its members, has long been a supporter of the New Zealand Suncare Initiative and was across the Bill during its readings.
The new legislation focuses on certification, testing and labelling, and affects both manufacturers and importers of sunscreen in New Zealand, as well as the consumer who buys the product.
As explained in a RNZ article, these new “sunscreen regulations are only part of the protective puzzle”…
The Cancer Society said the new regulations would give consumers more confidence in the sunscreen products they bought, but warned people also needed to adopt a broader range of sun-smart behaviours to reduce their skin cancer risk.
Cancer Society chief executive Lucy Elwood told Morning Report the society would ultimately like to see sunscreen regulated as a therapeutic product, as it is in Australia.
“New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world and if it’s regulated as a medicine there’s a few additional quality control steps that happen in the manufacturing process that we’d like to see.”
She said consumers’ confidence in sunscreen products had been “rocked” by past revelations of some not meeting their labelled SPF claims, but noted the “vast majority” of sunscreens in New Zealand met the Australian standard.
“People should know what they’re buying but I think we still have a job in New Zealand to raise awareness of what SPF means, because people often think the difference between, say SPF30 and SPF50, is a lot bigger than just 1 percent extra protection,” she said.
“Well over 90 percent of the New Zealand market already meets [the Australian standards] so really the quality of sunscreens in New Zealand isn’t why we’re seeing the highest rates of skin cancer here, it’s the broader sun-smart behaviours we all need to work on.”