Trace One launches tool to help retailers meet new cosmetics regulations

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Trace One, a European leader in e-collaborative platforms for the development of private label products, has launched a new version of its module for Household, Perfumery and Personal Care Products (HPC), designed to meet the new regulations applying to the cosmetics industry. 

This module is integrated with Trace One’s Quality Portal, which enables manufacturers to manage product lifecycles.

According to Trace One, the cosmetics industry has been increasingly concerned by the implementation of new regulations, including harmonisation at European level, in order to best ensure consumer safety. 

These new regulations require retailers to adapt their procedures and working methods, which significantly increases their workload, it said. Trace One’s HPC module is claimed to be specifically designed to support them in this evolution, by equipping them with tools that provide a point-by-point response to the new constraints.

“As it is already the case for the food industry, consumer safety becomes a major issue for cosmetics, too,” said Marc Bonnamour, managing director at Trace One.

Nick Martin, vice president Northern Europe at Trace One, added: “These new European standards deeply affect the whole product design chain, as each component and each step must be easily identifiable, traceable and justifiable. Retailers need the appropriate tools, providing them support in this transformation.”

An overhaul of cosmetics legislation

By July 2013, all cosmetic products sold on the European Union market must meet all the requirements set by the new regulations. The new legislation requires those responsible for the products’ placement on the market – retailers, specialised retail chains and some cosmetic companies working under contract – be always able and ready to submit a product information sheet to the competent authorities. Such fact sheets must include a set of data relating to product safety: formula, packaging control plans, toxicology reports and analysis validated by experts etc.

By synchronising the information included in the product specifications with the information listed in the product information sheet (which can contain up to 70% of common information),Trace One’s said its HPC module enables users to consistently reduce the new administrative burden.

In addition, this solution also offers the possibility of directly addressing toxicology experts, to ask them to validate survey reports online, on Trace One’s Portal.

The new regulations also clarify issues and lay out procedures that were previously not adequately complied with in the cosmetics industry. For instance, the regulations now require a signed contract with suppliers and the formal establishment and implementation of good manufacturing practices. Trace One said its Quality Portal meets these new requirements, since it allows the formal signing of contracts online. 

Another function of the HPC module enables the inclusion of the products’ ingredients registration receipt number released by the European poison control centre, allowing retailers to provide proof of such registration when requested by competent authorities.

Finally, thanks to the HPC module it is possible to keep track, in real time, of any cosmetic surveillance activity related to each product, said Trace One. This feature makes it possible for retailers to meet their duty of monitoring and recording all medical incidents related to the use of a cosmetic product, and to change formulas if necessary.

The REACH regulation

REACH is another important European regulation, which aims at identifying all chemicals used in consumer goods (excluding food). Depending on the category in which they are classified, such substances may be subject to assessment, authorisation or prohibition procedures, as in the case of substances suspected of being carcinogenic. Thus, any company that subcontracts the manufacture of chemicals must get assurance from its suppliers all the due assessments and registrations have been made, and the substances used are not amongst those proscribed by the European agency. To help retailers comply with this legislation, Trace One said it has integrated useful forms in the new version of its HPC module enabling users to list and check all the raw materials used, in addition to guaranteeing compliance with regulations.

The Global Harmonised System, or GHS

The GHS is concerned with the classification and labelling of potentially hazardous chemicals, of which consumers must be aware. Recently, the warning statements and logos that are to appear on the packaging have changed, and manufacturers and retailers must therefore adapt their packaging accordingly, with an implementation date set in 2015. During this transition period, they must manage two different regulations for the same product range: the old rules for products that are already on the market, or have already been bought by consumers, and the new regulations for the new lots, which must integrate the new nomenclature. To address this problem, the new version of Trace One’s HPC module is designed to identify and manage two different coding forms, allowing users to maintain information as it was on existing products, while integrating the new data in the new lots.

More generally, packaging is a major issue for cosmetics retailers. Such labels must include numerous details, such as the presence of allergens or the indication of the period after opening. Moreover, retailers must also handle long production lines, producing a large number of nearly identical packs, and therefore need to increase productivity. In addition to its HPC module and Quality Portal, Trace One also offers a solution specifically designed to address issues relating to packaging: the Packaging Portal, enables an upgrade of the packaging design process by bringing together all stakeholders – internal and external – on a single platform. 

The time saved in administration and approval procedures enables printers, designers and contractors to work more efficiently,  thus reducing the time needed to place products on the market, the company said.

The information collected from manufacturers and listed in the specifications sheets are transferred into the Packaging Portal, to ensure the teams in charge of this activity have perfect knowledge of the details that must be declared on the labels. In addition, to address the specific issues related to long production ranges, the platform now includes a feature integrating different references within the same project, so users can duplicate some steps within the processing of all the references, and save considerable time.

The cosmetics industry is rapidly changing and evolving. As a result, retailers must adapt quickly to new regulations, while, simultaneously, increasing their productivity at the same time, if they want to stay competitive, said Trace One. Being fully aware of these new challenges, Trace One reports it is working in concert with its cosmetics industry clients, in order to provide them with solutions tailored to perfectly meet their new needs.