North American trade deal cutting regulatory barriers

The US, Canada and Mexico are moving towards personal care product regulatory harmonisation

The personal care product industries of the US, Canada and Mexico have something to cheer about – at last – from American trade policy: a North American trade deal that will cut regulatory barriers as well as tariffs.

While ensuring most trade in personal care products will be exported duty free between the three signatory countries, a new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA – announced 30 September) has a special personal care product annex.

Its goal is to move the North American industry and its markets in the direction of harmonisation and mutual recognition of controls.

While it is not a full-blown piece of regional legislation, such as the European Union’s Cosmetics Regulation, or as comprehensive as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) harmonised Cosmetics Directive, this is a regulatory deal that has teeth.

If either of the three governments prepares good manufacturing practice guidelines for cosmetic products, the new agreement commits them to using relevant international standards for cosmetic products as a basis for such rules.

They have also promised to . . .

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