An insight into regulations and compliance in the Middle East

Anne Connet of CPL Aromas UK gives a preview into her CBRS presentation

This year at the Cosmetics Business Regulatory Summit, Anne Connet, from CPL Aromas UK will address the key regulatory and compliance issues for Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Below Connet outlines the presentation in brief...

For effective commercial operations in any market in is necessary to understand the regulations pertinent to the market and the product in question fully. Sometimes these requirements may seem onerous and confusing. However, understanding the principles behind the regulations in force can be very helpful.

Identifying these key principles will highlight points of similarity with known EU regulations and greatly reduce the anxiety felt when dealing with the unknown. The cosmetic regulations as applied in the Middle East region („the region‟) are changing and developing quickly. The development of these regulations is primarily due to a need to ensure the safety of the citizens of the region. This laudable desire harmonises the ethos of the EU Cosmetic Regulation and the regulations/standards in the region. As a result “Safety Assessments” of cosmetic products sold in the region are generally required as is post market surveillance of adverse consumer reactions.

Further comparison can be seen in the definition of a cosmetic product: lists of generally allowed, restricted and banned materials and the introduction Cosmetic Notification requirements, all of which are more than familiar to regulators in the EU.

Further similarities are seen in the control of allowable claims and the defining of product naming and ingredient labelling conventions. This is not to imply in any way that compliance with the EU Cosmetic Regulation is enough to satisfy the regional requirements. Of course there are differences, but, in many cases, these are a result of the systems already current in the region and in some cases the result of the culturally different ways products are viewed and used. An example of this can be seen in the UAE where there are two schemes in existence, one for fragrance products (Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette) and another for cosmetic products. For each scheme there are very many similarities. The aim of this presentation is to highlight the similarities and differences between the regulatory requirements in the region and those defined by the Cosmetic Regulation in the EU.