Harmonized Cosmetic Regulation?

Harmonized Cosmetic Regulation?

As the world increasingly becomes a global marketplace with the development of new and innovative technology, cosmetic and skincare brands are finding it easier and easier to sell products to new and existing consumers across the globe.

Yet, when a product is made in one country and sold in another which of the many global cosmetic regulations apply?

Although many industry leaders champion a universal global regulatory system, it is more likely that we will see a system where there is compatibility vs. one global law. Why? Simply because we are operating within a constantly innovating industry and will always find it extremely difficult to compartmentalize. Each country has different regulations mainly caused by which government department administers the regulations and a product that is approved by one country may not be approved by another.

Likewise, as countries have different definitions and categories of cosmetics, companies increasingly need to consider not only the ingredients regulated under the cosmetic legislation, but also chemical and environmental legislation too.

In order to establish on global regulatory system the industry would have to form one policymaking body and embark on a massive legislative and political campaign to overhaul each countries existing laws. While creating a product in compliance with regulatory requirements for each country where a product is sold is costly- manufactures, regulators, and industry leaders must embrace this reality and work together on creating individual regulatory systems that make implementing laws easier and more compatible with each other across the globe.

According to a recent report by the Global Cosmetic Industry (Laying Down the Law: Global Regulatory Frameworks), “the world’s personal care regulatory bodies are moving toward a European-esque framework”. Gerald Renner, Ph.D., Technical Regulatory Affairs Director, Cosmetics Europe, listed the following as the factors that will likely determine if global cosmetic regulation is possible:

  • Scope & Definition — What laws will be affected?
  • Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) — Which standards, and are they necessary?
  • Product Management — Weighing if a product requires registration versus notification.
  • Ingredient Management — Does the ingredient need labeling, or to undergo systematic pre-market registration?
  • Product Information/ Safety Assessment — Can safety assessment be in-house, or submitted?
  • Animal Testing — Can acceptable alternatives be used?
  • Claims — Are there any general or specific requirements?
  • Cosmetov­igilance — What are the obligations for the industry?

With the increasing awareness of beauty consumers in the U.S., the FDA may purposely take steps in furthering talks with their counter parts across the ocean.


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