Part 2

Conference insights: Key questions to ask before entering Europe's cosmetics market

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Conference insights: Key questions to ask before entering Europe's cosmetics market
We continue to explore what Korean brands need to bare in mind when it comes to the challenges they face, relevant considerations and questions to ask before making the leap into Europe.

Last week, we looked at key cosmetics legislation, The EU Cosmetics Regulation 2009, along with the main tests to perform and the leading roles to understand when it comes to entering the European cosmetics industry from Korea​.

Now, we turn our attention to the challenges that Marika Zielinska, Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Obelis points out. This aims to ensure full clarity prior to engaging in explorative and resource-heavy efforts to appeal to the European cosmetics and personal care consumers.

Challenges to consider

Firstly, it is important to note that European brands can freely circulate and distribute between countries. However, they must translate labels and conform to all customs and national laws.

Next, confidentiality relating to the product information file and factors such as multiple copies and exposure fo formulation is a prevalent concern. There are also undefined responsibilities that relate to the need to translate notifications and report information.  

Before entering and launching in Europe, there must be a number of factors discussed and in agreement between the supplier and European distributor. These are namely that: the territory has been defined; the terms of confidentiality agreed; the terms of labels and language requirements outlined; the terms of regulatory requirements known; and the terms on request/visits by EU authorities specified.

Marika Zielinska, Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Obelis outlined at in-cosmetics Korea 2018 the main specifics to focus on and overtly engage in conversation with, prior to signing any agreements.

So, what are the key questions that brands must ask?

  1. Are you willing to disclose full product specs to many distributors (decentralised) across EU member states?
  2. Do they plan to disclose the distributor list to their distributors?
  3. The product information file (PIF) must be kept for 10 years,  is the distributor able and/or willing to do this?
  4. Can a distributor represent your brand in all 28 EU authorities?
  5. Does the distributor have an in-depth knowledge of regulatory and legal affairs?
  6. Does it hold your overall product notifications in Europe?

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