Firms urged to comply with cosmetic labeling, packaging requirements

Philippine cosmetic companies are advised to ensure their notified products meet the labeling and packaging requirements stipulated under the Asean Cosmetic Directive.

In a webinar, Maria Lynette Macabeo, Food Drug Regulation Officer II at Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-Center for Cosmetics Household/Urban Hazardous Substances Regulation and Research, said the directive’s appendix II identified what comprises labeling, immediate packaging, and outer packaging.

She said labeling is the information written or printed or graphic matter on the immediate or outer packaging and any form of leaflets; immediate packaging is the container or other form of packaging immediately in contact with the cosmetic product; while the outer packaging refers to where the immediate packaging is placed.

Macabeo said the Asean cosmetic labeling guidelines include product content in weight or volume, brand and product name of the cosmetic product and its function, batch number, manufacturing/expiry date of the product in clear terms, and country of manufacture.

“Brand name is the name which may be invented or after a company name or a brand line or product line, and then the product name, this is what your product is… That’s the difference between brand nname and product name for cosmetic establishments that will apply for product notification,” she said.

“On the expiration date, for the manufacturers here, if your product has less than 30 months shelf life (or) 2.5 years, it is required for you to declare the expiration date. But if (the shelf life of your product is) more than 30 months, you have the option to declare or not the expiration date of our products,” she added.

Macabeo said the back panel of the products lists instructions for use, full Ingredient list in descending order, special precautions if any, and name and complete address of the company or person responsible for placing the product in the market.

She said companies applying for cosmetic product notification should indicate in the label the same product declared or specified in their application.

“Because once it is different, it would be considered a different product or unnotified since there is inconsistency in the declaration of ingredients,” Macabeo said in mixed English and Filipino.

She said the agency does not have an exhaustive list of packaging for cosmetics “as long as our packaging does not affect the stability of the cosmetic product.”

In cosmetic packaging, in cases where the size, shape, or nature of the container or package does not permit or cannot fit the labeling requirements, Macabeo said leaflets/ pamphlets, hang tags, peel off labels, and shrink wrap shall be allowed.

However, the name of the cosmetic product and the manufacturer’s batch number shall appear on the immediate packaging, she said.

“In labeling, it is not necessary that what we have mentioned should be the only ones specified in the front or back panel. It’s up to you, we do not limit the companies with regards to the design of their cosmetic products,” she added.

Macabeo said cosmetic products are substances or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of human body or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odor and/or protecting the body, or keeping them in good conditions.

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