CTFA's International Program


The emergence of a true global marketplace in the 1970s ushered in an entirely new area of concern for CTFA.

As early as 1974, CTFA participated in the launch of the International Information Center for Cosmetics, an international clearinghouse for the collection and exchange of information. This center gave industry the opportunity to access valuable information concerning regulations, technical and scientific documentation, advertising and regulation of competition.

In the 1980s, CTFA's involvement in international issues expanded significantly, with major initiatives undertaken in Europe, Japan and Latin America. CTFA's International Committee, formed in 1977, nearly tripled in size by 1982. In addition, CTFA formed an International Department in 1984.

In Europe, CTFA established close working ties with COLIPA, the federation of cosmetic trade associations within the European Economic Community (EEC). CTFA worked with them on ensuring that ingredients used or manufactured by U.S. companies were included on the EEC's list of substantiated products.

In 1980, CTFA formed two EEC task forces to assure that cosmetic sunscreen and preservative ingredients used in the United States also were permitted in the EEC.

In 1989, CTFA enhanced its ability to closely monitor events in Europe by working with its outside counsel, Covington & Burling, to establish an office in Brussels to keep members informed about industry concerns and to convey members' views.

The relationship with COLIPA allowed CTFA to work with the Europeans to develop a common position on new cosmetic regulations.

For the Japanese market, CTFA formed a task force in 1980, whose primary objective was to eliminate non-tariff trade barriers. These efforts included publishing a consolidated list of approximately 2,400 ingredients approved for use in Japan in 1984.

After four years of working closely with the Japanese Cosmetic Industry Association to open the Japanese market, CTFA achieved a significant milestone when President Ed Kavanaugh met with Prime Minister Nakasone in April 1985. During the meeting, the Japanese leader instructed an aide to direct Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare to "loosen restrictions on cosmetics," which subsequently led to the elimination of individual product approval for many cosmetics.

The following year, CTFA co-sponsored the first International Conference on Cosmetic Regulation in Japan. CTFA's efforts in Japan were described as a model for other industries to follow.

In later years, CTFA's international efforts continued to press for opening new markets for members.

In May 1986, CTFA received an invitation from China's Ministry of Light Industry to visit Beijing and Shanghai to learn firsthand the opportunities and potential pitfalls of the Chinese market. A 25-person delegation completed a successful trip the following October. Other initiatives were launched in Korea and Hungary.

In the mid-1980s, CTFA also undertook an aggressive campaign directed at U.S. Customs and other law enforcement officials around the world to curb the import of counterfeit products. From these efforts, CTFA produced a "Product Identification Book" for customs agents and an anti-counterfeiting video highlighting how to spot counterfeit products.

In the early 1990s, CTFA's testimony in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pointed to the industry's successful initiatives to reduce market restrictions in Mexico.