Unlike Australia, New Zealand sunscreen is classified as a cosmetic product under the Medicines Act 1981 rather than a therapeutic good. This means it is voluntary for companies to comply with the 2012 Australian/NZ Standard 2604 (AS/NZ 2604:2012).
To ensure SPF (sun protection factor) claims are verified, all sunscreen should be tested and compliant with a globally recognised sunscreen standard. Many sunscreens in New Zealand use the Australian/NZ Standard (AS/NZ 2604:2012), which is mandatory in Australia. Many of the sunscreens available to us may not have any verification of the SPF ratings.
We want to see sunscreen classified as a therapeutic good. This would mean all sunscreens in New Zealand comply with the AS/NZ standard. The NZ Cancer Action Plan 2019-2029 advocates for reclassifying sunscreen as a therapeutic good.