Labeling and Barcoding

Mandatory standard for ingredient labeling

Labels are a key feature of most products. They help to market the product, allow customers to tell it apart from the competition, and give important messages including ingredients, instructions and uses.

All suppliers – including manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers – must comply with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) mandatory standard for ingredient labelling on cosmetics.

Under the Australian Consumer Law, the ACCC can also take action against misleading or deceptive claims on cosmetic product labels.

Under the mandatory standard, cosmetic products are substances or preparations intended for placement in contact with any external part of the body, including the mouth and teeth, for the purpose of:

Therapeutic goods

Products that make therapeutic claims—such as those presented as preventing, diagnosing, curing or alleviating a disease, ailment, defect or injury in people—are subject to the requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Measurement marking

Finally, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) administers regulations that stipulate labelling requirements relating to measurement marking and packer's identification.

The NMI provides useful Guides to the National Trade Measurement regulations including the Guide to the sale of pre-packaged goods (PDF 1 MB) and the Guide for market stallholders and roadside traders (PDF 1.7 MB).



Ingredients labelling on cosmetics and toiletries: supplier guide

Click HERE for downloadable files

Online suppliers

All businesses supplying goods to Australia—including online stores—must comply with mandatory standards and bans—see for the full list of mandatory standards and bans. If you are an online supplier, the ACCC considers it good practice to show an ingredients list with the online listing so that consumers can view the product ingredients before the goods are checked out.

What you must include in your label

When you design a label, make sure it complies with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA), which says you can't give false, deceptive or misleading information to customers.

The Act also requires that labels are used to give information to consumers, such as:

Pre-packaged goods labelling

Label designs for pre-packaged goods must also comply with the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009, which include requirements for:

For more information, read the Guide to the Sale of Pre-Packaged Goods on the National Measurement Institute website.