SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 127/16

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New Zealand has recently announced a ban on products containing asbestos. The ban will take effect on October 1, 2016. 

On June 15, 2016, the New Zealand Environment Minister announced [1] a ban on the importation of products containing asbestos (fibrous forms of siliceous minerals including actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, serpentine (chrysotile) and tremolite).

According to the announcement, legislation banning the importation of raw asbestos is already in place and this prohibition is now being expanded to asbestos-containing products. This new prohibition arose from an inventory [2] released by the Ministry for the Environment in 2014, which reported that there are alternatives and the use of these alternatives has become the established norm in New Zealand.

The new regulations will permit the use of asbestos in a very limited number of specialized applications, such as those associated with older machineries, vintage planes or ship restoration, where there is no alternative or the alternative would be disproportionately expensive, and the risk of exposure is safely managed. This permitting scheme will be administered by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and applications will be considered on a case-to-case basis.

The necessary Orders in Council are currently being drafted.  The new prohibition will take effect on October 1, 2016.  

Highlights of the announcement are summarized in Table 1

Table 1: Prohibition of asbestos-containing products 

Substance Scope Requirement Effective date
Asbestos Products Prohibited October 1, 2016

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy, for asbestos and other restricted substances in consumer products for New Zealand and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
t: +852 2774 7420

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