Manufacturing, importing and retailing graphics materials in New Zealand
(includes finger paints, children’s crayons and children’s water colour paints)

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) provides information regarding the rules that apply to the manufacture, import and sale of graphics materials in New Zealand under the Graphic Materials Group Standard. The following EPA publication outlines the rules and acceptable test methods, giving information on leachable metal limits for compliance in New Zealand:

Graphic Materials Group Standard 2018

Laboratory test results for graphics materials intended for use by children must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) at

The EPA will confirm whether the substance complies with the Group Standard which sets limits on the maximum amount of leachable metal that can be present in these types of graphics material. If the test report is from overseas, then the EPA will refer the importer to IANZ to determine if testing has been performed by a laboratory accredited by a body recognised by IANZ.

Laboratory testing must be undertaken by an IANZ accredited chemical testing laboratory or by an overseas laboratory with equivalent accreditation. i.e., by a chemical laboratory accredited by a full signatory partner to the ILAC MRA (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement) for the appropriate test methods.

ILAC MRA partners include (but are not limited to):

  • China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS)
  • Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS), Hong Kong
  • Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (TAF), Chinese Taipei
  • Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (KOLAS), Republic of Korea

To search for full member ILAC MRA Signatories please use the ILAC MRA Signatory Search.

When overseas testing laboratories endorse their test reports with the symbol (logo) of their equivalent accreditation body, IANZ is then able to readily refer the report to the appropriate ILAC MRA partner.

When referring an overseas test report to IANZ for acceptance under the ILAC MRA, the nominal fee for this service is $199 (GST inclusive) per overseas test report, a requirement instituted by the IANZ Council on 1 January 2009.  Importers are required to forward their test report for review, after which payment is requested.

The authenticity and validity of the test report is established by IANZ (usually via international liaison), after which the required acceptance document is produced and forwarded to the importer to refer to the EPA. The process may be as short as a few days or up to a few weeks depending on the response from overseas parties. (ILAC MRA partners and testing laboratories).

Tips for checking over test reports to see if they are likely to be acceptable to IANZ:

  • Is there a symbol for an ILAC MRA signatory? e.g. CNAS, HKAS
  • Has the distributor indicated that the testing has taken place in an accredited laboratory and the results found to comply with the Group Standard?
  • Has testing using acceptable methods including EN 71-3 or AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2003 for leachable metals taken place?
  • Do the test results indicate compliance? (i.e. pass)

Face paints are not covered by the Graphic Materials Group Standard but are regulated under the Cosmetic Products Group Standard.

Graphic materials which don’t fit the scope of this Group Standard, i.e., are not finger paints, children’s crayons or children’s water colour paints, may fit within the scope of other relevant Surface Coatings and Colourants Group Standards.