Last week, the Australian Government notified the World Trade Organisation of its intention to ban the importation and sale of cosmetic products that contain ingredients which have been tested on animals.
This position has significant bipartisan support, with bills of a similar nature introduced by the Greens and Labor, in 2014 and 2016 respectively. It is anticipated that the prohibition on importations will have a substantial impact on supply chain management and product development decisions for manufacturers and importers.
With a likely implementation date of 1 July 2017, businesses must consider the impact this prohibition will have and put changes in place as a matter of priority, or risk the potential seizure of goods at importation.
Based on prior introduced bills, it is possible that the new legislation will include a ‘dominant purpose’ test with the ban only extending to ingredients with a primary end use for cosmetics. This will require the full list of the substance’s animal test history to be supplied to the regulator, which will likely fall within the ambit of the Department of Health.
Whilst legislation is not yet available, the significance of this change to global supply chains should be considered at the very earliest opportunity.
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