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AANZFTA regulators and businesses promote good regulatory practices to bolster regional trade, investment in the cosmetics sector

29 October 2021

JAKARTA, 29 October 2021 – A total of 44 regulators and business representatives from the cosmetics industry in ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand, together with members of the AANZFTA Sub-Committee on Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (SC-STRACAP), convened virtually at a Regional Workshop on “STRACAP Work Plan Implementation Programme (SWIP) Work Stream 1: Good Regulatory Practice – Cosmetics Sector” from 20-22 October.

At the three-day workshop, participants discussed the recommendations of a desk-based research report that examined regulatory models, their implementation, and various approaches to promote and implement Good Regulatory Practices (GRPs) in the cosmetics sector by AANZFTA Parties.

The regional workshop and desk-based research report under discussion are part of a project on “SWIP Work Stream 1: Good Regulatory Practice – Cosmetics Sector” supported by the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP). The project aims to ensure that standards, regulations and conformity assessment procedures in the cosmetics sector are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade, but bolster trade and investment of cosmetics in the region.

Participants also deliberated on the recommendations of the desk-based research report to promote mutual understanding of each AANZFTA Party’s STRACAP and strengthen information exchange and cooperation. The recommendations would feed into the deliberation of the AANZFTA SC-STRACAP in updating its work plan.

Malaysia in her remark emphasised that “while the industry focuses on the businesses, technical regulations are elaborated and enforced by national governments, intended to serve legitimate objectives such as protection of human, animal, and plant life or health, environment, as well as prevention of deceptive practices, amongst others. Implementing GRP is an important approach that balances both these interests while minimising unnecessary barriers to trade and improving trade between partners.”

'This regional workshop provided an opportunity for industries and regulators to sit together working in improving Good Regulatory Practice and Cooperation amongst AANZFTA parties, in which this initiative, ultimately will reduce the technical barriers to trade issues particularly for cosmetic goods.'

'AANZFTA has significantly strengthened Australia’s economic engagement with ASEAN, as our second-largest trading partner as a bloc, since it entered into force in 2010. ASEAN is, as well, essential to Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,' remarked Cathy de Waal, Acting Manager, Trade Facilitation, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Australia.

She further noted that ‘the significance of technical barriers to trade has increased considerably over the past years as tariffs decline and governments worldwide introduce regulatory requirements to address health, safety, or environmental concerns. A 2016 study by the US Department of Commerce found that technical regulations were potentially linked to 93% of global goods exports.’

'The AANZFTA SC-STRACAP is seeking practical ways to reduce these technical regulations. I hope these discussions lead to a tangible way to diminish the occurrence of technical barriers to trade arising from inconsistent delivery of regulation and signal areas for improved cooperation among AANZFTA members in the coming years,' she added.

SC-STRACAP Malaysia, in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat, including the AANZFTA Support Unit, has implemented this project since January 2021 with support from a consultant team- Jacobs, Cordova & Associates.

The project built upon the success and research findings from a similar AECSP-supported initiative on STRACAP completed in 2017 that focused on examining and promoting GRPs for the food and beverage sector in AANZFTA.

The multi-year SWIP seeks to support the implementation of the AANZFTA SC-STRACAP Work Programme in its three priority sectors, i.e., food and beverage, cosmetics, and health supplements, through three key streams: (1) Good Regulatory Practice, (2) Cooperation in International Standards Engagement, and (3) Technical Capacity Building. Focusing on these industry sectors will help identify more opportunities to enhance the free flow of goods and services across AANZFTA while ensuring consumers’ safety, health, and protection throughout the region.

For more information on this project, SWIP, or the AECSP, please contact the AANZFTA Support Unit at

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