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EU/US trade talks: sides may struggle with banned cosmetic substances

By Michelle Yeomans+

28-Jul-2014
Last updated on 28-Jul-2014 at 17:03 GMT

EU/US trade talks: sides may struggle with banned cosmetic substances

At the sixth round of EU-US trade talks on a new trade and investment deal between the two continents, experts suggested that the two sides may struggle on an agreement, particularly in the area of prohibited cosmetic ingredients. 

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP negotiations aim to remove trade barriers in a wide range of economic sectors so as to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US. 

At the sixth TTIP meeting last week, EU chief negotiator, Ignacio Garcia Bercero raised the issue that 1,300 substances are already banned in cosmetics in Europe, compared to the US, which only prohibits 11 and that both continents will need to work together to avoid unnecessary duplication of regulatory resources.

EC wants an agreement on how to test chemicals

We are trying to discuss concretely to what extent, if a substance has been approved in the EU following a risk assessment, it can be taken into account by the US regulators,” he explains.

To date, the EC has outlined that it wants an agreement on how best to test chemicals, identification of, and response to, new or emerging issues; and more effective data sharing and protection of confidential business information included in TTIP.

The US is reportedly supportive of this proposal, but has some reservations on elements of the classification and labeling of chemicals.

The seventh round of negotiations is expected to take place in September, in Washington DC.

Impact of these talks going forward

Speaking to Cosmetics Design at a recent Cosmetics Europe General Assembly, Bertil Heerink, Director General said that this is an important time for industry and that there will be a chapter on cosmetics included in the discussions.

“What will really make a difference is that the cosmetics industry from both the US and Europe have jointly developed their view on what could be done,” he explained.

“And this is very much in the area of mutual recognition of labelling, of risk assessment procedures, of ingredient lists.”

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