IFRA standards are adopted by South East Asia
(ASEAN) have adopted International Fragrance Association (IFRA)
standards in a move to facilitate trade of fragrance products with
The standards will be implemented by the ten nations that make up the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. It is hoped that the adoption of the IFRA standards by the ASEAN countries will facilitate trade and product safety as well as motivating other countries in the region to become members of the organisation. "Not only will the standards ensure the safety and quality of fragrance products in the region but they will also encourage and facilitate trade between the ASEAN countries and the rest of the world," said director general of IFRA Jean-Pierre Houri. Growing market significance of the ASEAN countries Although at present the market significance of the ASEAN countries is not extensive, the area will become much more important within the industry, Houri told CosmeticsDesign.com. Currently a significant proportion of fragrance materials are sourced from the Asia Pacific area and Houri predicts that over time trade and export from this area will grow. He expects an increasing number of international companies to up their manufacturing in the area and for local companies to expand and begin to compete with their European counterparts. In addition, the ASEAN countries together have a significant population of potential consumers, noted Houri. Indeed, in 2006 the population was estimated to be over 550 million. Furthermore, the association hopes that the adoption of the standards will motivate other countries in the region to become members of IFRA. IFRA currently represents about 90 per cent of the industry and is constantly working to get this figure closer to 100 per cent, said Houri. China's membership under discussion China, one of Asia's fastest growing markets, is currently an observer of IFRA standards but it is not a full member. This means the country is bound to respect the association's standards however as it is not a full member it has a smaller degree of involvement in the mechanics of the association, explained Houri. IFRA and China are currently under discussion to enable the country to become a full member of the association.