As the government finalizes the UK’s transition from the European Union (EU), a lot is left unsaid about the impact this move will have on industries.
And for businesses in the beauty industry, which highly relied on the EU, Brexit leaves a new grey area when it comes to product safety. Consumers are worried that with EU out the picture, poor quality products will find their way into the market.
But can Brexit really affect product safety standards?
Changes in Beauty Product Regulations
For the major part of the decade, the EU has been responsible for the beauty product safety standards across the UK. The body has strict regulations regarding these products, ensuring that consumers across Europe only access safe skincare products.
But now, with Brexit on our shoulders, it’s unclear how the government plans to address these regulations. There are very many options on the table, which makes it harder to predict the outcome. Here are several possible options the country could adopt.
The Switzerland Model
The UK can decide to adopt a similar model as Switzerland, a non-EU member, that still trades with other European countries. This will require harmonizing part of its regulations with that of the EU.
Nonetheless, the country will also have to draft some of its legislation, which could take some time. And in the meantime, businesses will have to comply with the EU cosmetic laws.
Also, for UK businesses trading with other EU countries, they’ll need to have a ‘responsible person’ within the European Economic Area (EEA).
The Norway Model
It could also choose to join the European Economic Area treaty, like Norway, to be able to trade with other EU countries. And in this model, nothing would really change. Businesses will have to comply with the existing cosmetics regulations.
They’ll also have to notify authorities via the EU cosmetic product notification portal and require a ‘responsible person’ to sell their products.
New UK Model
It’s also possible that the UK can negotiate a new deal with the EU that will make the Brexit transition process beneficial for both parties. This may, however, demand new cosmetic regulations from UK, which may affect the quality of the beauty products.
If this is the case, then the agreement may go over and beyond cosmetics. It could also affect the pesticide and Brexit regulations set by the EU when London and Brussels part ways.
However, it’s highly unlikely that the UK will go down this road. High chances are, the government will mirror the EU cosmetic regulations to facilitate business with these countries
What does this mean for the consumer?
According to the EU cosmetic regulations, more than 1200 ingredients are banned and considered potentially damaging. And despite UK transitioning from the EU, the Cosmetics Toiletries and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has stated that it won’t alter these safety laws.
Beauty and cosmetic manufacturers will, therefore, stick to the EU guidelines meaning nothing is changing any time soon.
Therefore, consumers can rest assured that the safety of their beauty products will not be affected by Brexit.
So, whether Brexit will affect beauty product safety standards will ultimately depend on which model UK decides to go with. However, it’s more likely that the agreement won’t be far-off from the initial EU cosmetic safety regulations.
But all this is speculations. We’ll just have to wait and see what the final agreement will be.