Online Exclusives

What’s Up with Brexit?

March 9, 2017

During In-Cosmetics, industry experts from the CTPA will weigh in on what’s ahead for the beauty industry.

It was the vote that shocked a nation and the world and no, it’s not the US Presidential election result. Before there was Donald Trump, there was Brexit, the United Kingdom’s decision in a June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister has signaled very clearly that she intends to invoke Article 50 before the end of March 2017. Just last month the UK Government gave parliament veto over the final Brexit outcome, demonstrating that the final chapter on the controversial move has yet to be written.
Despite the cloud of uncertainty that surrounds the measure, executives at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association are closely monitoring the situation and are keeping their members in the loop, regardless if the information is good or bad!
“The result of the UK Referendum on European Union membership has led to a great deal of uncertainty and much speculation on both the process for withdrawal from the EU itself and on the UK’s subsequent relationship with the EU and third countries,” noted CTPA’s Director-General Dr. Chris Flowers. “Whilst CTPA cannot comment on the overall economy, the drop in the value of the pound since June 2016 has provided exporters with a trading advantage.  Conversely, the import of raw materials has already resulted in price increases for domestic manufacturers.”
Working with its members, CTPA has developed a position paper providing an assessment of the impact of exiting the EU and the Customs Union on the cosmetics industry and what will be important to achieve post-Brexit.  "Getting the Best from Brexit" is available publicly on the CTPA website under ‘What you need to know about Brexit’ to also keep non-members abreast of the issues and implications for the cosmetics sector.
Olivia Santoni, CTPA’s head of regulatory and international services noted that, for now, UK is still in the EU. 
“Any immediate impact is unknown but it makes clear sense to ensure that going forward the UK legislation is aligned with that of the EU unless producers want to have to manage two different sets of laws and perhaps have to produce two different products with two different labels,” she explained.
CTPA executives noted that for companies selling both in the UK and in the EU, there is a risk of duplication and unnecessary regulatory complexity unless the UK continues to apply similar regulatory rules to the EU and maintains administrative co-operation with EU Competent Authorities post-Brexit.  
“It would therefore be important to ensure that cosmetic products compliant with UK specific requirements can be freely sold in the EU and vice versa,” said Santoni.
To stay abreast of the situation, CTPA has had discussions on this important issue with several departments at BEIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) and other key Governmental contacts. Furthermore, CTPA members have access to a dedicated reference section and can track CTPA updates in order to remain up-to-date on CTPA’s contact with all relevant Government departments as well as organizations such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Chemical Industries Association and other national sector and European trade associations. 
“This work is vital to ensure a common understanding of the issues involved in something as complex as the cosmetics manufacturing and distribution chain,” concluded Dr. Emma Meredith, director of science, CTPA.
CTPA executives will discuss Brexit and its impact on the cosmetics industry during a session entitled, “Brexit—What does this mean for the UK and the EU cosmetics industry?,” on Tuesday, April 4. More info: