Backing International Regulatory Convergence and Competitiveness
Benefits of international regulatory convergence
Regulatory complexity is an obstacle to the global competitiveness of the European cosmetics and personal care industry. A fragmented regulatory framework can generate additional cost, complexity and duplication, and limit market access.
We work with associations and other partners across the globe to seek regulatory convergence where possible. In particular, we seek to reduce technical barriers to trade and drive for compatible legal requirements, and where appropriate, encourage others to use the EU Cosmetics Regulation as an inspiration for their own legislation, which many emerging markets have, including ASEAN, Russia, Latin America and China.
We believe international regulatory convergence can make European industry more competitive, but also that it can boost innovation, increase safety, and ultimately improve trust and confidence amongst consumers, regulators and other stakeholders.
How we drive international regulatory convergence
Cosmetics Europe operates internationally to proactively address global challenges and drive regulatory convergence, largely through the following means:
Continuous best practice development with our international partners, by working on specific modules of regulation and trying to identify best practices
Generating incentives to harmonise regulation on the basis of international best practice
Jointly identifiying priority issues of regulatory divergence across the main trading regions
Addressing these issues in collaboration with the European Commission and the third country authorities
Avoiding divergence on new issues
Working with local authorities across the world to help develop local industries, support growth and in-market access for companies
International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR)
Established in 2007, ICCR is an international group of regulatory authorities from the Brazil, Canada, EU, Japan and the United States. Cosmetics Europe is one of seven relevant cosmetics industry trade associations participating to the ICCR work. The ICCR’s aim is to maximise consumer protection by working towards and promoting regulatory convergence, while minimising barriers to trade.
2016 saw the 10th round of ICCR discussions take place.
Achievements to date include 21 joint publications on key topics for the cosmetics and personal care sector, like international standards, product preservation, safety assessment, allergens, traces and other key issues. ICCR publications provide guidance, points of reference and standards for use by ICCR members and other regulatory authorities worldwide as appropriate in each jurisdiction. All publications are available on the ICCR’s website.
In line with overall reform trends, in 2014/2015 China formally embarked on a reform path to move its cosmetics regulation towards a modern in-market, safety based approach.
Technical collaboration between Cosmetics Europe, the European Commission, and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), has been considerable. A formal dialogue was established between the European Commission and the CFDA in 2010, which has since resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding that includes Cosmetics Europe as technical experts.
With this new collaboration we aim to promote international convergence principles leading to more effective, predictable and transparent legislation to the benefit of the industry as a whole. Cosmetics Europe has also signed a collaboration agreement on safety assessment with the China National Institute for Food and Drug Control, the UK Government and European Chamber of Commerce in China, which represents an important step towards future acceptance of alternative methods in cosmetics safety assessment in China.
Positive results that are at least partially attributable to our collaboration so far include:
Growing registration of new products (albeit without new ingredients)
Good palette of ingredients (+/- 9000 existing ingredients) available to the industry
Work on improved ingredients registration process has started
Discussion on the development of harmonised requirements for domestic and imported non-special cosmetics (internal proposals how to address being worked on by CFDA)
Withdrawal of proposed legislation on labelling that would have hampered imports
Safety assessors’ course implemented in China
Openness to consider acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing (mid to longer term)
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the major trade deal being negotiated between the US and EU, provides an opportunity to resolve regulatory divergences that create unnecessary barriers to trade in cosmetics and personal care products between the EU and United States.
EU regulation on alternatives to animal testing (AAT)
Following the introduction of animal testing and marketing bans in the European Union in the specific area of cosmetics, other countries have expressed an interest in similar measures.
It is essential that countries gain an accurate understanding of the current EU regulatory framework if they are to introduce similar measures without incurring risks to safety.
In light of this, Cosmetics Europe is working with its international partner associations to develop explanatory documents about the legislation and its nuanced interpretation by the European Commission.
"Global Strategies" from Personal Care Products Council
International Cooperation by DG Growth