In recent years Colipa had to throw itself into meeting the requirements for the 6th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive, aimed at out-lawing the testing of cosmetics ingredients or products on animals and making the cosmetics industry more transparent and co-operative.
More recently the focus has been on complying with the 7th Amendment, which has set a more realistic date of 2009 for the cosmetics industry to comply with the ban on cosmetic testing on animals.
With progress now said to be on track for the industry to meet this aim, the focus is now turning to fulfilling the requirements agreed on for REACH.
"Apart from the question of alternative tests to animals, one of the biggest challenges for the cosmetic sector in 2005 and 2006 will be the Commission's proposal for a new Chemicals Regulation - REACH," said Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, vice-president of European Parliament.
"It aims at safeguarding the use and production of chemicals in Europe. Compared to many other sectors, the Cosmetics Directive already ensures a high level of protection to public health. Therefore, we must avoid a situation where substances are evaluated under two different regulatory systems, which may be contradictory - particularly with regard to unnecessary animal testing," Roth-Behrendt added.
The original REACH proposal, made in October 2003, aims to provide greater protection to human health as well as the environment, while concurrently maintaining and enhancing the competitive edge of the EU industry.
"Colipa has given priority to the technical aspects of the text, to their understanding and to the analysis of their potential consequences for the cosmetics industry," said Christian Monnais, Colipa chairman for the programme committee.
Monnais also drew attention to the fact that, despite meeting new EU regulations, Colipa will also be focused on the issues of sun protection as well as specific issues about ingredients in the coming year.
With regards sun protection, Monnais said that significant improvement has been made on international standardization and self regulation of UV-related testing methods and claims. However, he did also point out that these initiatives had not been clearly communicated and that this would become a focus for the year ahead.
Concerns over ingredients are also still a major point of discussion, with the focus being on scrutiny of phthalates, aluminium salts, alpha hydroxyl acids, certain preservatives, isoflavones, synthetic musks and hair dyes.
Monnais said that collaboration with the US industry body CFTA, together the widespread communication of industry responses to these ingredients issues, is expected to contribute to progress in this field.