Need-to-know regulatory issues on the agenda for APAC’s cosmetics sector in 2019

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Need-to-know regulatory issues on the agenda for APAC’s cosmetics sector in 2019
Among APAC’s emerging economies and lucrative markets, APAC’s cosmetics legislation is changing at a fast pace. Here we reveal the latest developments set to come into place in 2019.

IECIC to get major upgrade

By refining its cross-border e-commerce laws and hosting the inaugural China International Import Expo, China is sending a clear message that it plans to continue opening up its market.

The cosmetics industry can expect China to continue changing its policies, which will come swiftly in the New Year, said Kris Fang, head of Europe for China Beauteville.

Fang said that the industry can expect “important changes”​ in the coming months, especially in raw materials.

Currently, the Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC) consists of less than 10,000 ingredients, which restricts companies from registering many products.

According to Fang, Chinese authorities are looking to recognise ingredients approved by the European Union, which has a database of more than 20,000 ingredients – more than double in size of the IECIC.

Additionally, he believes that the authorities will look to shorten the registration process, which is currently a two year wait. While Fang cannot say for sure how long it will be shortened to, he believes it will be reduced to months.

“These laws have not changed for over 30 years, so it’s time to change. Even now there’s a lot of positive change, which is good for foreign brands. Things will get much better beginning of [2019]. The government wants to send a strong message with more import-friendly policies,” ​Fang explained.

Indonesia tightens Halal cosmetic regulations

As the Halal cosmetics market continues to grow, Indonesia is looking to tighten regulation around in order to reassure its consumers of their safety and purity.

As such, Indonesia is looking to have all cosmetic products Halal certified by October 2019. According to Hedy He of Chemlinked, this is aimed at making Indonesian cosmetics more competitive in the international market.

Indonesia would require products to be certified by Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI). Which means that even products with a valid certification from another authority such as Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) would have to reapply for a Halal logo from MUI.

The additional logo would mean that companies will be forced to repackage their products for the Indonesian market.

However, because of the working relationship between JAKIM and MUI, Mawarni Hassan, CEO of Cosmoderm is confident that cosmetic products with a JAKIM logo would have an easier time getting certified. “At least, they would not be starting from ground zero.”

Mawarni told CosmeticsDesign Asia that Indonesia has been working on this “massive undertaking” for at least four years. “Indonesia is confident in the power of their market to impose this on companies who want to enter their market,” ​she added.

However, given the scale and the October 2019 deadline, He is sceptical that this policy would work out for Indonesia. “But it also means millions of products have to be certified before October 2019, which is really hard to realise.”

Australia animal-testing ban delayed

It’s been almost two years since the Australian government announced its plan to prohibit tests on animals for cosmetics products. However, the legislation has been delayed yet again.

The reason for this delay is the Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), which aims to regulate industrial chemicals.

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) announced that the new scheme was delayed until the July 1, 2019 in order to help regulated entities adequately prepare for its implementation.

As the ban on animal-testing falls under AICIS, it would also be pushed back to July 1.

According to the authorities, deferral of implementation will give them more time to consult on the details of the new scheme.

This is the second time the Australian government has delayed the implementation of the animal-testing ban. It was first announced to take effect in July 2017, however, the government announced that it was to be delayed for 12-months.

However, NICNAS stated that the Australian government intended to pass AICIS. “There is no change to the Government’s intention that the early wins should take effect as soon as possible after the Industrial Chemicals Bill is passed.”

Korea to amend Cosmetics Act

With a booming cosmetics industry, South Korea has been constantly revising the laws for one of its most popular exports. In March 2018, it released the amendments to its Cosmetics Act, which will come into effect on March 14, 2019.

The revisions call for improvements to be made to procedural rules, re-classify cosmetics business, set cosmetic safety management supervisors, and extend the scope of cosmetic business operation and functional cosmetics review applicants.

Additionally, the Cosmetics Act calls to add an official definition to natural and customised cosmetics, as well as implement a mandatory natural and organic cosmetics certification system.

“The amendments to Korean Cosmetics Act is to satisfy consumers’ needs for the diversification of cosmetics, adapt and promote the development of the cosmetics industry,” ​said He.

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