The ASEAN Economic Ministers signed the Agreement on the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme at the 35th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Cambodia in September 2003.
The Scheme is the culmination of 4 years of work by the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Cosmetic Product Working Group (CPWG), formed in 1998 in response to a request from the ASEAN Cosmetic Association (ACA) to harmonise regulations across the region to reduce technical barriers to trade.
The Scheme, which has been co-developed with the cosmetic industry, comprises the signed Agreement and its 2 Schedules as follows:
Phase 1 is an interim voluntary phase whilst Phase 2 (ASEAN Cosmetic Directive) must be implemented by all member countries by January 2008. Member countries can choose to proceed directly to Phase 2 without going through Phase 1.
The common technical requirements under the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme provide for a common definition for cosmetics, and detail the ingredients that cannot be used in cosmetics as well as listings of permitted preservatives, UV absorbers and colourants.
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