Capitalizing on their experience in the certification of natural and organic cosmetic products, European stakeholders intend to play a major role in the US market, while their strategies diverge.

French-based organic certification body Ecocert recently acquired Indiana Certified Organic (IPO), an agency operating across the US. According to Ecocert, this transaction is key to increase its North American business. “The acquisition of ICO brings over three hundred additional U.S. clients to the Group and an enhanced position on the U.S. market with a local presence, brand, network and team,” said Ecocert in a release.

Ecocert, is a member of the Cosmos board, the harmonised European organic and natural standard for cosmetic products, and a leader in Europe. Its client base includes renowned international brands such as Aveda, Kiehl’s, Nuxe, Kora, Origins, and Matrix.

In parallel, US-based certification organization NSF International announced the NSF International’s American National Standard for Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients (NSF/ANSI 305) has been expanded to allow plant-based ingredients that are certified to European Union (EU) organic regulations. As a result, personal care manufacturers using this standard are now able to source from both U.S. National Organic Program (NOP)-certified ingredients and EU-certified ingredients suppliers.

"Allowing equivalent EU-certified ingredients will harmonize NSF/ANSI 305 with global organic production without any loss of organic integrity," said Jane Wilson, Standards Director of NSF International.

The NSF/ANSI 305 is a consensus-based standard that defines labelling and marketing requirements for personal care products that contain organic ingredients. It also establishes requirements for agricultural ingredients and methods of extraction based on the final product’s label claim.

Earlier this year, NSF International announced it has entered in a partnership with NaTrue, a European organisation promoting its own natural and organic seal in the cosmetics industry, in order to develop a US standard defining natural cosmetics.