Japan to 'streamline' regulation on cosmetics imports

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Japan to 'streamline' regulation on cosmetics imports

Related tags: Import

Japan's Cosmetic Importers Association has announced its intention to abolish the current import notification system for cosmetics to speed up the process for international players.

Establishing or indeed sustaining business in Japan's cosmetics market depends on a clear strategy that combines identity, quality and innovation to seamlessly interact and integrate with its culture.

The import application process, which can be somewhat of a challenge for international brands, is about to get easier though, as the government hopes to eliminate duplicate paperwork, align product standards and remove further barriers to imports.

"Harmonisation of the EU and Japanese legislation regarding the importation process of cosmetics and especially regarding the quasi-drugs system is vital as it represents a major barrier for many SMEs​," Erwan Rannou at the Minerva EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Co-operation tells this publication.

Market entry

There is also an opportunity for companies to benefit from help and support (export credit and services), from both Japanese and EU organisations to avoid common mistakes and experimental market entry.

Rannou tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com that due to information gaps and asymmetries, smaller enterprises from Europe for example, are unaware of the export credit products and services available. 

The researcher adds that simple mistakes in translation, packaging, an inappropriate commercial or not understanding the local culture can be detrimental for even the biggest of personal care players.

Take Procter & Gamble for example. Rannou points to a campaign for one of its detergents' featured a standard side-by-side product demonstration of whiter shirts and brighter socks to its competitors.

Apparently, it didn't go down well with the Japanese, who prefer "harmony and polite business dealings​".  

The international personal care player also ran into some difficulty with a television commercial for its 'Camay' soap where a man was showed walking into the bathroom while his wife bathed.

Women took great offense as a husband imposing on his wife's privacy is regarded as 'bad manners' in Japan.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, East Asia

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