On 2 September 2003, ASEAN Ministers signed the Agreement on the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme (AHCRS) to enhance cooperation amongst the member states in ensuring the safety, quality and claimed benefits of all cosmetic products marketed in ASEAN and eliminate restrictions on cosmetic trade amongst Member States. Although the objective of AHCRS is to harmonize the cosmetic regulations within the region, there are some regulatory differences in the actual implementation of the scheme in the ASEAN member states, especially Indonesia and Thailand, such as:
The term "notification" in regulation is basically regarded as informing the government that the company will place the product on the market. However, in Indonesia, it is the pre-approval companies need to obtain before entering the market;
In Thailand, some claims are specifically forbidden: the term "eraser" is forbidden for anti-aging products and the term "restructure" is authorized only hairstyling products);
The requirements for documentation and information could vary greatly. Companies are not required to submit product formula information when they want to enter the Singapore market. But Indonesian authorities require companies to declare all formula ingredients as well as the percentage of each ingredient.
During the panel discussion, Angelita Hu, regulatory analyst at ChemLinked, will firstly introduce an overview of the ASEAN cosmetic regulations. Then Julia Ji, Agatha Della and Diego Sala, regulatory experts from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand respectively will share the key differences in cosmetic notification requirements, the limitation or use condition of ingredients, import certificates post-market surveillance, etc.