Published: 18 April 2024  (Updated: 18 April 2024)

CTPA Manifesto series #3: Maintain strict risk-based safety legislation

By Dr. Emma Meredith, Director General, CTPA

The CTPA Manifesto, launched in February in the UK General Election year, calls for the next Government to develop a strategy for the cosmetics and personal care industry to secure the continued sustainable growth of our essential sector.  The request for a dedicated Strategy in the #CTPAManifesto2024 is based on 12 keys asks, under the five pillars of essentiality, regulation, science, sustainability and business. 

The individual asks under each pillar represent the most important things Government can do to help ensure the continued growth and success of the sector.

My previous post focussed on the topic of essentiality, i.e. the fundamental contribution from our industry and its products to people’s wellbeing and the economy.  Today, I want to share my thoughts on the importance of regulation. 

Trade Associations exist to enable their members to succeed in whatever regulatory framework they operate.  In the UK, and in the EU, we are extremely fortunate to have a clear, sector-specific legislative framework that is not only risk-based and regulates the use of cosmetic ingredients and finished cosmetic products, but which has safety at its core.  It is therefore imperative, and a fundamental ask within the CTPA Manifesto, that the UK Cosmetics Regulation and its key principles are maintained.

The UK Cosmetics Regulation (UKCR) applies to all cosmetic products placed on the UK market, meaning these rules enable UK consumers access to safe and effective products, while creating a level playing field for all companies placing cosmetic products on the UK market.  Additionally, we should not underestimate the importance that having a known and trusted regulation has on our international trading partners.

While the UKCR is a facilitator for trade in the UK, the CTPA Manifesto also asks the next UK Government to look globally.  Barriers to trade have a big impact on the ability of businesses to reach new markets and invest towards international recognition of UK products and brands. Promoting and implementing harmonisation around the world is important as a long-term goal to ensure the continued relevance of the UK cosmetics industry. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are one tool to help achieve this.  We are asking that there be faster UK ratification of FTAs, and cosmetic products should be included in discussions for all FTAs – including the possible addition of cosmetics chapters.

The EU still remains the UK’s most important trading partner for cosmetic products.  CTPA is calling for a closer relationship with the EU.  We have an ideal opportunity as we approach the five-year review of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to instigate a formal structure of dialogue between the UK and EU in order to help to grow the industry for the benefit of UK jobs, science, innovation and exports.

While of supreme importance, the UKCR is not the only legislation that impacts our industry.  Our ingredients are also subject to chemicals legislation.  The UK cosmetics industry strongly supports the need for a UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Regulation) system to protect the environment and human health. High standards in the industry and in the regulation of chemicals are essential; helping to instil trust in the UK as a leading regulator, promoting consumer confidence in our products and boosting credibility for the responsible actions of business.  However, it is vitally important that UK REACH achieves these objectives while avoiding the excessive costs and bureaucracy and the unnecessary burdens on business, that could lead to a reduced investment in the UK.

Regulatory challenges are inevitable, and Trade Associations have a key role in tackling them.  The challenges facing the cosmetics industry are diverse, and impact locally and globally.  The CTPA Manifesto calls for positive action to address these issues and CTPA stands ready to work with the next Government together, as a trusted partner, on the dedicated cosmetics strategy.


Read the full CTPA Manifesto here.

Please share the Manifesto internally and with your key stakeholders and contact CTPA for regulatory support or discussion.

Next stop on this journey through our five Manifesto pillars: my personal passion, all things science!


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