Regulatory Review: European Update

The European Union (EU) recently issued two important documents. The first document covered units of measure while the second discussed public consultation on the simplification of the Cosmetic Directive. In addition, several new opinions were given by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP). Finally the latest Adaptations to Technical Progress (ATP) were released.

Units of Measure
Units of measure is an issue that requires a resolution by 2009 because the extension will expire then. In 1999, the EU voted to allow dual labeling of cosmetics with the metric system first, followed by the English system. The United States, Liberia and Myanmar are the only countries that still use the system of ounces, fluid ounces, pints, quarts and Fahrenheit degrees instead of the metric system. The United States has urged the EU to permanently allow dual labeling; however, the EU prefers to list metric units only.

Perhaps it is time for the United States to join the world and change its system. This is especially true for cosmetics since the industry is in a global market—and almost all customers outside of the United States use the metric system. In 1866, the Metric Act was passed in the United States authorizing the metric system.

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