Environmental Issues

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)

The EPA is the government agency responsible for regulatory functions concerning New Zealand’s environmental management, which includes activities to protect the health and safety of people and the environment. The functions of the EPA that impact the NZPMA the most are the regulation of hazardous substances and new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. The NZPMA initially worked with the EPA to provide an industry viewpoint to the HSNO Act, and continues to do so when required.

Surface coatings and colourants with hazardous properties are regulated as hazardous substances. When a new product that is hazardous is imported or manufactured in New Zealand for the first time it must get a HSNO approval.

Group standards are a type of approval for hazardous substances of a similar nature, type or use. A group standard sets out conditions that enable a group of hazardous substances to be managed safely. To be able to use a group standard approval the manufacturer or importer must ‘assign’ a product to a particular group standard by making sure that the product has only the classifications that are allowable within the scope of that standard. If the product meets the scope of the standard, the product is considered to be approved and the conditions of the standard (rules around labelling, storage, etc) must be complied with. You need to keep a record of how you determined that your product fits within the standard.

There is a suite of “Surface Coatings and Colourants” group standards. These standards cover any material used as an adhesive, dye, ink, paint, pigment, or graphic material, including any raw materials used in the manufacture of these materials that fits within the scope of the standards. To find out more about these, please go to: Surface Coatings and Colourants

There is also a very good guide on how to Assign a Hazardous Substance to a Group Standard that can be downloaded here: Assign a Hazardous Substance

Compliance with the conditions in a group standard is enforced by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.