WORLD TRADE G/TBT/GEN/35
21 June 2006
Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade Original: English
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTRE AT THE
MEETING OF THE TBT COMMITTEE ON 7 – 9 JUNE 2006
Agenda Item 4: Technical Cooperation
The following statement, dated 7 June 2006, is being circulated at the request of the
International Trade Centre (ITC).
I. MOVING TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED ASEAN COSMETIC MARKET - A NEW
ASIA TRUST FUND PROJECT TO HELP REGULATORS AND INDUSTRY STAY
1. ASEAN is rapidly moving towards an integrated market. But market integration is about
more than simply cutting or removing trade tariffs. ASEAN countries must ensure that non-tariff
barriers are removed, including those created by standards, technical regulations and conformity
2. The European Commission and the ITC, under the Asia Trust Fund, are sponsoring a project
to help strengthen the technical competency of regulators and cosmetic industry personnel in selected
ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).
Regulators and industry personnel will focus on Post-Market Surveillance (PMS) and Good
Manufacturing Practice (GMP), as well as increasing their ability to transfer acquired knowledge to
3. A series of workshops are underway to help ensure the continuity of the EC-ASEAN
Regional Economic Cooperation Programme and other national projects on standards, quality and
conformity assessment. The objective is to improve the capability of regulators and the cosmetic
industry in ASEAN member countries to implement the Agreement on the ASEAN Harmonized
Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme (AHCRS).
II. COLLABORATION BRINGS HARMONIZATION
4. For years, the ASEAN cosmetic industry has faced the challenge of having to re-test and re-
register products before they could be marketed in each individual member country, resulting in
delays and higher costs. Cosmetic regulators and the industry realized that harmonized standards and
technical regulations to ease the movement of goods within the region was a vital first step towards
creating an integrated market. They have been working together since 1997 to address technical
barriers to trade.
5. As a result of this collaboration, the AHCRS was signed on 2 September 2003. The AHCRS
lays down the requirements for cosmetic products for all signatory ASEAN member countries
beginning 1 January 2008. Under the agreement, a product produced or marketed in any signatory
country that meets the requirements of AHCRS would be able to enter other signatory countries. The
AHCRS is the first harmonized technical regulation in ASEAN. Its successful implementation is
expected to serve as an example and guide for other sectors.
III. SUPPORTING IMPLEMENTATION
6. The European Union has been helping ASEAN member countries implement this harmonized
scheme by providing significant assistance at regional level in the area of Standards, Quality and
Conformity Assessment under the EC-ASEAN Regional Economic Cooperation Programme. During
the last two years, the programme offered training activities and consultancy services for regulatory
authorities and industries. It also developed a number of training modules on post-market
surveillance and good manufacturing practice. However, due to time restriction, the Programme was
not able to provide comprehensive and advanced training on the use of these modules. In addition,
there are still a number of constraints and challenges that ASEAN need to overcome to ensure that the
single regulatory system for cosmetics is implemented by the agreed timeframe.
IV. BUILDING ON THE MOMENTUM
7. The new Asia Trust Fund (ATF) project – “Upgrading selected ASEAN Member Countries’
capability to implement the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme” – consists in the
following training activities: Four-day Advanced Regional Training of Trainers on PMS, seven two-
day National Follow-up Training Courses on PMS, two three-day Semi-Regional Follow-up Training
Courses on PMS, one four-day in-depth Regional Training of Trainers on GMP and five two-day
National Follow-up Training Courses on GMP. The entire training programme will be completed by
the end of 2006.
8. The methodology of conducting the training activities (regional, national training and follow-
up) is aimed to put in place a follow-up and mentoring mechanism, to ensure that the trainees after
attending regional “train the trainer” workshops would be able to cascade training at both national and
9. Before the end of 2006, the project will contribute to train a minimum of 140 persons among
regulators and key players in the cosmetic industry and 14 experts on Post-Market Surveillance
(PMS) and a minimum of 100 persons among regulators and key players in the cosmetic industry and
10 experts on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
10. The project was officially launched on 8 May 2006 on the occasion of the first training event
of the project titled “Advanced Regional Training on Cosmetic Post-Market Surveillance” that took
place from 8 to 11 May 2006 in Manila, the Philippines. More than 40 participants from regulatory
authorities and the cosmetic industry from the ASEAN countries attended the events. The workshop
focused on helping member countries build a strong network of experts in post-marketing surveillance
from 2008 onwards. The training programme was organized to provide participants with an
opportunity to learn theory and apply it in practice through several audits at manufacturing premises
and market places. These experts have already started to serve as trainers in their own countries in the
May-June series of national follow-up training sessions on PMS for other regulators and industry.
Supervision and support to the new trainers has been provided by an international consultant and
designated ASEAN experts.