In support of international best practice and harmonization for cosmetics standards, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – through its public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Standards Alliance – hosted the third event in a 10-part series covering cosmetics standardization to promote safety, quality, and efficacy of standards-related measures across the African continent. The series is coordinated in close partnership with the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) and the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC).
The third webinar focused on ongoing standards development in the cosmetics space as well as the importance of international standards and standards harmonization. More than 45 participants attended, including ARSO technical committee members, global private sector stakeholders, and standardization experts from various African national standards bodies. The event featured presentations by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and ANSI.
Ms. Mojdeh Rowshan Tabari, committee manager of the ISO Technical Committee (TC) 217, Cosmetics, and member of the Iran National Standards Organization (INSO), presented on the benefits of participation in international standards development and the scope of ISO TC 217 and its various working groups. Mr. Uli Osterwalder, chairperson of ISO TC 217 and principal and owner of Sun Protection Facilitator GmbH, detailed ISO 24444 relating to sun protection test methods and in vivo determination of the sun protection factor (SPF). Following these presentations, ANSI shared an overview of the importance of international standards and best practices for standards development based on the World Trade Organization's Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement.
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 Area (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.
Continuing with the series, ANSI, ARSO, and PCPC will continue their partnership during a fourth training activity in June 2021. Members interested in attending may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
About the 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 39 ARSO member states, making it an ideal platform for the flourishing ANSI-ARSO partnership.
In 2017, ANSI sponsored an expert 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 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 diverse work across the African continent.