Following changes to the Australian Consumer Law complementary medicines can now make increased use of ‘Made in Australia’ claims on eligible products. These amendments respond to the unanticipated consequences for the complementary medicine sector following amendments to Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) laws in 2017.
The changes are being implemented in two stages.
Initial regulatory changes are in place now.
A new rule has been introduced from 18 December 2019. The rule provides that if the last activity in the manufacture of a dosage form as regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration occurred in a manufacturing facility in Australia, the product can now claim to be ‘Australian made’.
Further changes will be implemented in 2020. These changes will include amendments to the Australian Competition and Consumer Act which will provide that:
‘Made in Australia’ claims based on new regulation claims will be required to display a bar chart. This chart will be a visual representation of the portion of Australian ingredients.
This will only affects products relying on the new rule for their claim. There will be no changes for products claiming ‘Made in Australia’ based on the rules that existed prior to 18 December 2019.
The permanent changes will come into effect once the legislation has passed in the second half of 2020.
‘Made in Australia’ claims for the complementary medicine sector remain voluntary. These changes address both industry concerns and the need for consumer transparency in purchasing decisions. They were informed by the findings of a government taskforce, feedback from industry and public consultation. The Australian, State and Territory Governments supported this solution.