International industry warns of trade barriers from EU cosmetics Regulation review


International industry warns of trade barriers from EU cosmetics Regulation review

Changing the way cosmetic ingredients are assessed for safety in the EU will have a “remarkable impact” on trade with third countries, non-EU representatives of the cosmetics industry have warned.

The European Commission is considering making extensive revisions to the cosmetic products Regulation, intended to ensure the goals of the EU’s chemicals strategy for sustainability are achieved. 

In comments to the Commission’s consultation on the inception impact assessment (IIA) for the review, international trade groups have expressed alarm at the proposal to extend the generic approach to risk assessment (GRA) – currently implemented on carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) chemicals – to other hazard classes, which they said would disconnect EU rules from those in other markets.

Fearing bans on chemicals that are currently widely used in the industry, the US Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) said the policy could result in “longstanding and intractable” technical barriers to trade.

“We offer lavender and alcohol, which are likely to be subject to bans,” the PCPC gave as an example. “This would result in fragmented supply chains and disproportionately affect US SMEs that may not be able to maintain separate supply chains for the EU market.”

The UK Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) warned that UK companies will withdraw products from the EU market, and vice versa, if they are forced to create separate formulations for the two jurisdictions.

Companies “may not be able to sustain the development of duplicate products as well as duplicate supply chains”, it said. 

And the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), which represents more than 80% of cosmetic companies in South Africa, said GRA-related bans on chemicals “will add the burden of reformulating products destined for the EU market, which will likely be sourced from the international market, thus adding delays in the manufacture and product supply and additional costs”.


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Chemical Watch, 4 November 2021