To emphasize the value of standardization in the cosmetics industry, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – through its public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Standards Alliance – partnered with the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) and the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) to host the first in a series of webinars on cosmetics standardization.
The webinar attracted more than 65 participants from ARSO, relevant technical committees, and the U.S. and African private sectors. As the first of 10 virtual training sessions, the event focused on international best practices for cosmetics standardization, which introduced important concepts and set the foundation for future activities.
Dr. Jay Ansell, vice president of the cosmetics program of PCPC, led the inaugural training, providing a presentation that emphasized the value of standardization in the cosmetics industry. His presentation also defined best practices by outlining a three-pronged approach, which includes industry responsibility, regulatory oversight, and third party confirmation.
In concluding his presentation, Dr. Ansell highlighted PCPC’s desire to work in cooperation with ARSO in advancing the production and manufacturing of safe cosmetic products. Thanks to PCPC and ARSO’s shared goal of harmonizing standards, conformity assessment, and procedures to reduce technical barriers to trade, ARSO serves as a robust entity through which member countries can collaborate on a harmonized trade-promotion framework while simultaneously leaving room for safety-oriented innovation in the personal care products industry.
ARSO is an intergovernmental organization established by the African Union with a mission to facilitate intra-African and global trade by providing harmonized standards and facilitating their implementation. ARSO has been identified as the lead entity for the coordination and harmonization of continent-wide standards under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). PCPC is the leading national trade association representing cosmetics and personal care products companies. The organizations’ 600 member companies represent more than 90% of the U.S. beauty industry.
Building upon this first webinar, ANSI, ARSO, and PCPC will continue their partnership during a second training activity in mid-April. Members interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
About ANSI and ARSO Collaboration
ANSI and ARSO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the ARSO General Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2014. Since that time, the two organizations have cooperated on numerous activities.
ANSI first participated in the ARSO General Assembly in June 2016. Through a training entitled "Implementation of Standards for Trade Facilitation: Focus on Conformity Assessment Systems," several ANSI members sent experts to share best practices on conformance procedures that bolster confidence, protect consumers, and confirm product compliance without hindering trade. The meeting included 25 of the 36 ARSO member states, making it an ideal platform for the flourishing ANSI-ARSO partnership.
In 2017, ANSI sponsored an expert who provided a presentation on U.S. sustainable agriculture standards at the ARSO Conformity Assessment Committee (ARSO CACO) meeting in Swakopmund, Namibia. In 2018, ANSI, through the Standards Alliance, participated in the 2018 ARSO General Assembly, which was hosted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) in Durban, South Africa. ANSI coordinated three presentations on the importance of standards to support international trade and regional development as part of the African Day of Standardization at the 2018 ARSO General Assembly.
Under the Standards Alliance, ANSI and ARSO also developed a National Quality Infrastructure panel as part of the U.S. – Africa Business Summit in Maputo, Mozambique. This panel included speakers from ARSO, the U.S. Trade Representative, ASTM, Proctor and Gamble, and the national standards bodies of Mozambique (INNOQ), South Africa (SABS), Senegal (ASN), and Rwanda (RSB).
ANSI continues to work closely with ARSO and the African Union through the expansion of its work on the African continent.