Moving towards greater international regulatory convergence

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Moving towards greater international regulatory convergence
What are the drivers for both the industry and for its regulators when looking at international regulatory alignment, and where have we got to so far?

This was the central focus of one workshop at the recent Cosmetics Europe​ Annual Conference (CEAC) industry knowledge-sharing event in Brussels.

The session considered what the industry considers best international practices in this area, and discussed the existing tools and fora where such international convergence can be promoted/influenced.

These include Free Trade Agreements (FTA), International Cooperation for Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR); International Standard Organisation (ISO) and International Association Cooperation (IAC), etc.

The session speakers were:

  • John Humphreys, PhD Global Product Stewardship – IMEA and GDM GTM, Global B&G Regulatory Influencing, Procter & Gamble

  • Juan Carlos Castro Lozano, Executive Director, Cosmetics Chamber of Commerce, ANDI, Colombia

  • Francine Lamoriello, Executive Vice President Global Strategies, Personal Care Products Council

What the session covered

The following is the CEAC’s roundup of the key ideas and topics discussed in the international regulatory convergence session:

“These days, we are paradoxically at a crossroad between more international alignment, as we can see through the numerous free trade agreements being negotiated across the word (TPP, NAFTA, Pacific Alliance, CETA…), and some countries becoming more and more protective,”​ the industry association explains.

“There is a need for the industry to remain the leader of promoting convergence and this can also be achieved through industry codes of conduct and self-discipline.

“However, the future of the convergence will certainly be driven by consumers themselves as they are nowadays much more connected (social media, mobile apps, etc,) and expect products with equivalent safety and efficacy no matter where they are purchased.”

We ‘cannot ignore that local regulations are rooted in a historical and cultural background’

Cosmetics Design spoke to Cosmetics Europe’s Director of technical regulatory and international affair, Gerald Renner, as part of the CEAC event.

He explained that the European beauty market should be cautious of hoping to simply apply its own regulations onto other regions and markets. (The full interview is available here​.)

“Over the years, I have learned that we cannot and must not ignore that local regulations are rooted in a historical and cultural background,”​ Renner says.

“Even if two regions were to issue exactly the same legal text, these societal roots will influence its interpretation and application.

“Unless there is a strong political force to overcome these differences, the same legal text would not mean that companies will be faced with the same requirements in their daily compliance practice.”

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