Call for international co-operation within the cosmetics industry

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union

The International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR) is
calling for increased international cooperation within the
industry, in areas such as nanotechnology and alternatives to
animal testing.

The ICCR met for the first time in Brussels on September 26-28th​ 2007, with the aim of synchronising the international regulation of cosmetics products. Representatives were present from the US FDA, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, the European Commission Directorate General Enterprise, and Health Canada. The meeting focused particularly on good manufacturing practices, INCI nomenclature and ingredients labelling, nanotechnology, market surveillance systems and co-operation, and the safety evaluation of ingredients and alternatives to animal testing. In terms of good manufacturing practices, the ICCR recognises the need to work towards a common approach and the members of the group have committed to use the ISO standard 22716 (guidelines for the production, control, storage and shipment of cosmetic products) when updating their current systems. In addition to developing common manufacturing processes, the ICCR focused on the need for a common definition of nanotechnology and its use in the industry, in order to determine the possibilities for international safety regulation of the technology. Currently nanoparticles are used in a range of cosmetics products, particularly sun screens and anti-ageing products, however concern still surrounds their safety. Similarly, the ICCR have called for further international co-operation regarding the industry's attempts to phase out animal testing, although it applauded the current efforts of the industry in developing alternatives. Specifically, the ICCR invites representatives from the Government of Canada, the US Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM), and its European and Japanese sisters ECVAM and JaCVAM, to propose options that would facilitate international communication in this area. The ICCR is the successor to the Cosmetics Harmonization and International Cooperation (CHIC) that was created in 1999. Subjects discussed by the CHIC included UV filters, preservatives, nomenclature and animal testing. A spokesperson from the CFSAN's Office of Cosmetics and Colors told that the ICCR was initiated as a "way to try to achieve regulatory co-operation among the participating governmental authorities in a more meaningful way that could be accomplished under CHIC."​ Such international regulatory co-operation is particularly important in the increasingly global market place for cosmetics products and their ingredients. For example, according to the European Commission, €16 bn worth of cosmetic products originating from the EU are sold outside the Community's borders every year. In addition, the community imports approximately €4 billion worth of cosmetics per year.

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