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New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Graphic Materials Group Standard 2018 for certain children’s products.

The document applies to graphic material which means a material which is deposited onto another material by a graphics instrument including fingers and hands for writing, drawing, painting or marking, and includes but is not limited to:

  • a crayon;
  • a water colour paint;
  • a finger paint;
  • pastels, chalk, coloured pencils and felt pens.

The document also specifies the following:

  • The maximum leachable quantity limits of certain elements in graphic materials are specified in subclause (4) of this Group Standard. The acceptable standards/test methods are British Standard EN 71.3 or the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2003.
  • The conditions that specify the obligations and restrictions for substances covered by this Group Standard are set out in Schedule 1 including:
    • Compliance with EPA Notices for labelling and advertising; Safety Data Sheets; packaging; disposal; and restrictions on supply and use; and
    • Notification to the Environmental Protection Authority.
  • The manufacturer or importer of a graphic material must ensure that it complies with clause 4 of this Group Standard; and keep a record of how it was determined that it complies with clause 4 of this Group Standard. This record must contain sufficient information to allow for independent verification that it complies with clause 4 of this Group Standard; and have that record available for inspection.
  • Graphic materials must not cause harm or damage to human health under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use such as:
    • presentation of the graphic material in any retail or consumer package;
    • labelling of the graphic material including any labelling or markings on the retail or consumer package;
    • any instructions for its use and disposal;
    • any other information provided by the manufacturer or importer.

A person relying on this Group Standard will have four years (until May 28, 2022) to comply with the Labelling, Safety Data Sheet and Packaging Notices. Within that time, a person may comply with the equivalent conditions in the Group Standard in force immediately before May 28, 2018. All other aspects of this Group Standard apply from May 28, 2018.