On March 27 of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an official announcement that it has suspended its Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP). The FDA has undertaken this action as part of the organization’s plans to develop and implement a new program for cosmetics and personal beauty care companies to submit facility registrations and product listings as detailed in MoCRA.
As detailed on the FDA website, the VCRP was a “reporting system for use by manufacturers, packers, and distributors of cosmetic products that are in commercial distribution in the United States,” which applied “only to cosmetic products being sold to consumers in the United States.”
The VCRP was first established in 1972 and was used as a means for the organization to “obtain the best estimate of information available about cosmetic products and ingredients, their frequency of use, and businesses engaged in their manufacture and distribution, voluntarily, from manufacturers, packers, and distributors of cosmetic products in commercial distribution,” according to the latest FDA press release.
The VCRP did not function as an approval system, but rather, was used by the FDA as an information gathering tool to support the organization in “carrying out its responsibility to regulate cosmetics marketed in the United States,” explained the FDA press release. Due to its nature as a voluntary system, the information reported through the VCRP fell short of presenting a complete and accurate representation of the cosmetic products being manufactured and sold in the United States cosmetics market.
Further, the VCRP did not function as a promotional tool, as registration through the program did not denote FDA approval of the registered product. As such, any labeling or marketing materials proclaiming VCRP registration information was categorized as misleading and misbranded.
The next steps
One of MoCRA’s sections establishes a new industry requirement for facility registration and states that “manufacturers and processors [to the cosmetics and personal beauty care product industries] must register their facilities with the FDA and renew their registration every two years,” per the FDA website.
Further explained by the FDA, an additional section of MoCRA provides a further industry requirement for product listings, stating that “a responsible person must list each marketed cosmetic product with the FDA, including product ingredients, and provide any updates annually.”
As explained in the most recent FDA press release, “because MoCRA requires certain companies to register their facilities and list their products with FDA, FDA is creating a new system to handle the large number of submissions that will result.” Therefore, the organization will no longer use the VCRP system as of March 27 of this year and is no longer accepting and processing submissions to the program as of that date.
Moving forward, the FDA has officially requested that cosmetics and personal beauty care product companies wait to register products with the organization until a new registration system is announced and becomes available. Further, the organization has noted that “information in the VCRP will not be transferred to the program being developed for facility registrations and product listings mandated by MoCRA.” Additional updates regarding the new registration program are forthcoming and will be provided by the FDA as they become available.