UK cosmetics ‘manifesto’ calls for tax-free shopping and non-animal chemicals testing

By Julia Wray | Published: 22-Feb-2024

The CTPA has asked the next UK government to recognise the personal care industry’s ‘essentiality’

The Cosmetics Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has launched its first ever ‘manifesto’ for the UK’s cosmetics industry.

The industry alliance picked an election year to call on the next UK government to develop a strategy for the cosmetics and personal care industry, covering 12 key ‘asks’.

Primary among these is that government policy recognises the ‘essentiality’ of the cosmetics and personal care industry.

The CTPA noted: “There are very few industries which create items used by us all each and every day, and our products are essential for our health, hygiene and wellbeing.”

Several regulatory issues were flagged, including the need for a formal UK/EU cooperation structure to facilitate trade, and recognition of the beauty industry within free-trade agreements.

Consistent implementation of new rules within the UK internal market across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were also requested, alongside demands that UK REACH (the area’s pan-industry chemicals regulation) not become burdensome for businesses. 

Regarding the UK Cosmetics Regulation (UKCR), the manifesto asks that the ongoing  Office for Product Safety Standards (OPSS) Product Safety Review not change or undermine the safety principles of the UKCR.

Decisions made on the safe use of cosmetic ingredients and finished products must also follow a robust science-led and risk-based approach, the industry body said, while calling for a proactive strategy to integrate animal-free methods into the safety assessment of chemicals.

The CTPA further stressed its sustainability requirements, asking for strong industry involvement in policies related to extended producer responsibility (EPR) as well as detailed information on requirements. 

It also asked the government to be supportive of take-back schemes and to invest in a harmonised infrastructure for recycling.

Finally, the manifesto requested the return of tax-free shopping in the UK to boost tourism spending. 

“To date, the cosmetics and personal care industry has not had a dedicated government strategy focused on this vital sector,” said the CTPA’s Director-General Dr Emma Meredith.

“CTPA would like to work with the UK government after the General Election on a strategy recognising the essentiality of the industry’s products and services by maintaining the strict risk-based safety legislation, protecting science-led decision-making whilst providing a framework for growth with sustainability at its core. 

“The strategy should also enhance the competitiveness of the UK industry for both import and export and champion the UK industry as a leader in product manufacture, design and innovation.”

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