FDA launches electronic registration system for cosmetic formulations

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics Fda

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new
electronic system for the registration of cosmetic formulations
that aims to enhance the safety labeling of products.

The Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP) came into force on December 1, and means that cosmetic firms will be able to register their establishments and file their cosmetic formulations with FDA electronically for cosmetics on the market in the US.

The FDA​ says that from information maintained in the VCRP database, it will be able to estimate the extent and use of a cosmetic ingredient, allowing it to develop safety messages to alert manufacturers and the public wherever necessary.

Although the organization stresses that participation is still voluntary, the system is designed to streamline the process, which, it is hoped should encourage greater participation by the cosmetics industry.

The move falls in line with increasing pressure from consumers and lobby groups to introduce greater levels of regulation into the US cosmetics industry.

In comparison to the more strictly regulated European market, the US market is often side-lined as representing the interests of the industry before the health and safety of consumers.

A step towards greater regulation in the US was recently undertaken by the state of California, after govern Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill back in October that requires cosmetics manufacturers to disclose which of their products contain potentially harmful chemicals.

Although the law is only relevant to the state of California, the fact that it has the biggest economy of any state in the US, combined with the fact that many nationwide cosmetic suppliers will have to adapt their product ranges according to the bill, means that it has had US-wide implications.

The FDA's move is widely thought to be a manifestation of the growing consumer pressure and the California bill. In line with this, the , FDA's website​, provides information on how cosmetic companies can register their details and products in the system.

It also stipulates that the program allows for confidentiality on any information submitted for products that are already in commercial distribution in the US.

Previously the VCRP had run the system in paper form only, and it is stressed that organizations already registered using this method will not need to re-register, however this information can be transferred to an online account through a written request.

As well a protecting consumers, the FDA stresses that the system will also help manufacturers to make informed decisions by keeping them up to date on latest safety information, as well as all the latest information from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, which specializes in establishing priorities for ingredient safety review.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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