In the November 2007 issue of the Osler Advertising and Marketing Review, we reported on the outcome of the inaugural meeting of the International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR), a voluntary international group made up of cosmetics regulatory authorities from Canada, the United States (US), Japan and the European Union (EU). This multi-jurisdictional regulatory task force was established to identify ways in which to remove regulatory obstacles among the regions while maintaining the highest level of global consumer protection.

The ICCR met from July 30 to August 1, 2008 in Rockville, Maryland to discuss issues related to good manufacturing practices (GMPs), market surveillance, ingredient safety, sunscreens, alternative test methods, nanotechnology and International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) labelling.

Good Manufacturing Practices

At their last meeting, the ICCR regulators committed to taking into consideration ISO 22716 – Guidelines for the Production, Control, Storage and Shipment of Cosmetic Products. They have now agreed to implement ISO 22716 in their respective regions, wherever possible. Specifically, this standard has been adopted in the E.U. and Japan, and Canada and the U.S. have agreed to adopt similar standards as part of their current GMP guidance. Canada expects to adopt voluntary GMP standards based on ISO 22716 by the next ICCR meeting.

Market Surveillance

ICCR regulators will continue to exchange information about ingredient and product safety issues, including serious adverse event reports.

Safety of Ingredients/Authorized Substances Lists

Members of the cosmetics industry have agreed to form a working group to address issues relating to the safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients. They will prepare a draft document outlining common and general principles for the safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients for consideration by ICCR regulators.


The ICCR regulators agreed to establish a working group to follow and assess ISO sunscreen developments as part of the ICCR’s commitment to develop harmonized UVA and UVB test methods. The ICCR will continue its discussions about the approval of sunscreen active ingredients, and testing and labelling of UVA and UVB.

Alternative Test Methods

Further to its commitment to enhance cooperation in replacing, reducing and refining animal testing, the ICCR has created the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) working group to address three key areas of cooperation: validation studies, independent peer review of the scientific validity of test methods and the development of formal test method recommendations on alternative testing methods


In its first meeting, the ICCR recognized a need to develop a common definition of “nanotechnology.” In this most recent meeting, industry members presented the ICCR with a report describing the characteristics of “nanomaterials” for cosmetics and a definition of “nanotechnology.” The ICCR will be gathering additional information from industry about the current use of nanotechnology in cosmetics, including product categories, frequency of use of nanoingredients, and current methods of safety testing for nanomaterials and products containing them.

INCI Labelling

The ICCR will continue to evaluate consumers’ understanding of trivial names (i.e., those common names for certain ingredients permitted in the labelling of cosmetics). Specifically, industry presented some preliminary survey results on consumers’ understanding of the trivial name “aqua” (water).