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Cosmetic Regulation in the European Union

The 27 European Union Member States have transposed the European Union Cosmetics Directive, enacted in 1976, into national law. Each Member State has health authorities which then regulate cosmetics within their respective national boundaries according to the law. Beginning in July 2013, all cosmetics sold within the European Union will need to register their ingredients with a central body. The EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety is responsible for reviewing all special and active cosmetic ingredients and assessing conditions for safe use. The results are subsequently published on the Committee's website. The EU allows the marketing of cosmetic products with certain medicinal effects. The manufacturer or importer of cosmetics is responsible for demonstrating that the product is safe for its intended use.

Cosmetic Regulation in Japan

The Japanese government regulates the cosmetics industry through its Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare according to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (Law No. 145) established August 10, 1960. Japan maintains a list of prohibited ingredients, a list of restricted ingredients, a positive list of UV filters and a positive list of preservatives. Other than these restrictions, the burden of ensuring product safety has been shifted to cosmetic manufacturers. As such, any ingredient that can be shown to be safe may be used in a cosmetic product. Since 2001 Japanese cosmetics companies are required only to provide notification of the product's brand prior to manufacturing or importing. "Japanese consumers have a high demand for cosmetics. Consumers can obtain much information about cosmetics through female and fashion magazines, the Internet, television commercials, newspapers, and other media. Consequently, they are very discerning about their selection of cosmetics. In the cosmetics market, consumers range from low-price-oriented young women to middle-aged/older women seeking high functionality and high-value-added commodities. For this reason, overseas cosmetics manufacturers are considered to have many opportunities to enter the Japanese market. . . The safety of cosmetics in Japan is ensured by the Product Liability Act (PL Act). If it can be demonstrated that a defect in a product is harmful to humans, their bodies or assets, the manufacturers' liabilities for damage will be defined to protect victims under the Act. As importers must assume the liability for damage caused by imported articles, it is necessary to pay careful attention to quality control, instruction manuals, and cautions." March 2011 (See entire text of this report from the Japanese External Trade Organization:

Cosmetic Regulation in Canada

The Canadian government regulates the cosmetics industry through Health Canada's Cosmetics Program. The basis for the regulatory authority for the Cosmetics Program comes from the Food and Drugs Act and Cosmetic Regulations. Cosmetics are defined as "any substance or mixture of substances, manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth and includes deodorants and perfumes." As in the U.S., manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that products comply with the law before they are marketed. The manufacturer or importer of cosmetics is responsible for demonstrating that the product is safe for its intended use. Regulations are enforced by Health Canada and is overseen by Product Safety.