Last month, we investigated how the unrest in Ukraine was affecting European cosmetic companies. At the time, major players like L’Oreal and Beiersdorf reported no disruption to operations or exports but that they were "keeping a close eye on matters".
Oriflame is another global brand with big business based in the Ukraine and Russia. And whilst Garrett reports the company to also be ‘ keeping a close on matters’, he also reveals that the unrest is likely to affect the industry at a regulatory level.
The director of product safety and technical compliance reports that a round table had been scheduled with the cosmetics industry and the Ministry in Ukraine to discuss it becoming more aligned with Europe in terms of customs, a proposal he reckons will now be taking a back seat.
“With the obvious political crisis, cosmetic regulation is not likely to be top of the ministry’s agenda,” he tells CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.
“We have people on the ground there that have been lobbying with local government, but all has gone quiet of late,” he reports.
In regards to Russia, Garrett says he doesn’t expect to see many changes there with regulation, as an updated customs union regulation was implemented there years ago.
The responsible person effect
Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 replaced the 'Cosmetics Directive' last July, which up until 2013 ensured that products circulated freely whilst guaranteeing a high level of protection for consumers.
Suddenly, companies were required to be competent in areas like GMP, registration of cosmetic products, product labelling and customer liaison to cosmetovigilance by selecting a suitable responsible person.
Almost a year on, Garrett reports that there is still some uncertainty for some member states with the interpretation.
"It is causing problems for those that haven’t been as close to the legislation or had more time to work towards it like the bigger member states," he explains.
However, for Oriflame this director of product safety says the legislation has clarified and made his team's role easier. "Particularly in the Asian markets as the frameworks follow the EU model to some degree."
Working to keep one step ahead of the game
At the facility, Garrett oversees a team that looks after all regulatory affairs for Oriflame in the East and the West, continuously aiming to stay on top of new legislation and its requirements ahead of time.
His team is now working on efficacy and claims to be ready for claims enforcement 2016 to make sure the brand is being ethical in claims and products. Spending more time on colour than they would have years ago more innovative and challenges.