For perfumes and cosmetics exporters, the agreement signed between the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and the two leading companies in quality control and products safety, Intertek and SGS, should not bring many changes in the short term. Certification is from now on only carried out by the two certification bodies approved by the SFDA, which are precisely those who already were doing most of the controls.
According to Aurélie Moreau, in charge of the cosmetics industry for Intertek, “this agreement will mostly allow us to work more closely with the SFDA, particularly to address technical issues that are a source of concerns for manufacturers.” An important aspect in view of the transfer to the SFDA of the standard-setting activity currently undertaken by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO).
Today, Intertek does not want to content itself with just being a surrogate of Saudi governmental bodies. “We have in France a centre dedicated to regulatory affairs, which allows us to provide exporters with local expertise and to keep them informed on the latest regulatory updates”, explained Aurélie Moreau. Services that the British group would like to continue to develop in all countries requiring certification of shipments, such as Algeria, Kenya and Russia.
R&D and supply chain
With a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 27,000 employees in more than a hundred countries, Intertek has an unparalleled testing capacity and offers a set of services to support the quality demand of brands in the beauty industry.
Since the acquisition of the 4-Front company in 2008, Intertek has become a recognized leader on the market of clinical trials, tolerance tests, verification of the activity of active ingredients on their substrates, be it, for hair, skin or teeth, toxicological risk assessment, and efficacy tests. With its knowledge in regulations and of international certifications requirements, Intertek also offers services for the preparation and validation of the cosmetic file, the writing of safety data sheets (SDS), and of quality and compliance control (microbiological testing, dosing of preservatives, etc.).
The strengthening of regulations and of safety requirements the world over, offers the company, huge opportunities especially with the supply chain. “Brands will soon have to insure that both their raw material suppliers and packaging suppliers, meet the REACH requirements, and by 2013 the compliance of cosmetic production sites to Good Manufacturing Practices recognized in the European Union will be mandatory”, warned Aurélie Moreau.
Even the rise of ecology and a concern for natural products are accompanied by requirements for independent controls and for guarantees to new consumers. “Consumers are both better informed and more cautious vis-à-vis environmental claims. Intertek offers, thanks to its laboratory tests and its experts, a support regarding environmental claims.” And it can go as far as the realization of a life cycle analysis.”We are anticipating the needs of brands in the prospect of the general implementation of environmental labelling", emphasised Aurélie Moreau.