South Africa moves to start regulating the cosmetics industry

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

South Africa moves to start regulating the cosmetics industry

Related tags South africa Cosmetics

Here, Sinah Mosehla, Director of Cosmetics, Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) provides a sector overview on the current and future regulatory landscape ahead of her presentation at the Global Cosmetic Compliance summit in May.

Ahead of the summit from the 27-29 May, Mosehla tells show organisers IQPC that current regulations in South Africa have not previously been enforced, but now the Department of Health wants to start regulating the cosmetics industry.

"The Bill is now in Parliament, as soon as it is passed this industry will be regulated," ​the expert informs of the current situation.

"The industry has been self-regulating for many years, and it has been the likes of the Cosmetic Toiletries Fragrance Association that has been assisting companies in terms of standards and regulations, both local regulations and international regulations​," she adds.

In terms of worldwide legislation similarities for cosmetics in South Africa, Mosehla affirms that the country aligns its local cosmetic quality standards with international ones.

But notes however, that because the government does not currently register cosmetic products, it is forced to register its products in the countries it exports to, which can be controversial.

"Whatever is made in South Africa complies with ISO standards, but companies are not forced to register and this is where it leads to confusion​," she says.

Heavily involved in the implementation of REACH

In South Africa REACH affects mainly the mining industry, but the Chamber of Commerce has tried to intervene at the global level.

However, with the likes of the chemical industry, Sinah says the regulation is not really a problem because "we have been complying to it, even before it was even enforced, particularly those companies exporting."

"I know other international countries are also struggling to get REACH in place in their own countries, so we are doing our level best with our network, through our network in international communities to get REACH right in South Africa as well,"​ she adds.

On an entirely separate note, when it comes to trends on the expanding market, the regulatory expert says that as consumers desire more natural based ingredients in cosmetics on a global scale, South Africa is in a prime position to cater to this trend as it is rich in natural species, plant species.

We are producing and exporting a lot of essential oils. Some of them have been beneficiated and some are just in plant materials, but we do have that diversity in terms of plant materials, and we are also moving towards using cosmetic products that have got natural ingredient resources in them​,” she concludes.

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