Graphic materials

Approval for the importation and manufacture of children's graphic materials is given under a Group Standard.

Importing children's finger paints, crayons and water colour paints

Before you import or manufacture children’s finger paints, crayons or water colour paints you must provide us with evidence, including laboratory test results from an accredited laboratory, to show your product(s) complies with the group standard.

In particular, these test results need to show that toxic ingredients in the product are below the limits set in the standard. Our role is to confirm with you that the required conditions have, or have not, been met.

You need to complete the Graphic Materials application form and send this, together with your evidence, to us.

Graphic materials application form (docx 363 KB)

Evidence of compliance with the group standard

Your evidence would comprise:

  • a full Bill of Lading
  • a full commercial invoice
  • laboratory test reports for the items you are importing
  • laboratory results from overseas will also need confirmation from International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) that the testing has been carried out by a suitably accredited laboratory – see the IANZ website for more information.

International Accreditation New Zealand's website

Please email your completed application form to

We recommend that you send your application form and evidence to us well in advance of any shipment arriving in New Zealand to minimise the possibility of delays at the border.

Please allow 10 working days for your permit number to be issued, after all information has been received.

Graphic Materials Group Standard

A Group Standard approves a group of hazardous substances of a similar nature, type or use. The Graphic Materials Group Standard covers:

  • chalk
  • coloured pencils
  • crayons
  • felt pens
  • markers
  • stamps
  • pastels 
  • paints, including water colour, poster, finger paints and glitter paint.

Children’s water colours, crayons and finger paints must meet the conditions of this group standard because there is no other approval for these products.

This is because water colours, crayons and finger paints can be easily consumed by small children and there are special conditions in the standard to ensure that the risks associated with exposure to the products are managed and children’s health is protected.

Children’s face paints are approved under the Cosmetic Products Group Standard and must meet the conditions of that standard.

2018 Update

The Graphic Materials Group Standard has been updated. This update came into force on 28 May 2018.

Graphic materials group standard 2018

If you have any questions, please email us