At its last meeting in early October, the Council of Ministers of theWest African Economic and Monetary Union (or UEMOA from its name in French,Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine) has decided to harmonize approval procedures applicable to cosmetic marketed in its territory*. The Council has adopted guidelines that the will form the framework of new harmonised cosmetics regulations in the WAEMU member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

WAEMU member states (click to enlarge)

WAEMU member states (click to enlarge)

Modelled on the European Union regulations, these guidelines provide:

- a list of banned substances,
- a list of substances which use in cosmetics is restricted,
- lists of colour additives and preservatives allowed in cosmetics,
- the information that must be labelled on cosmetics,
- the documents that must be kept available to health authorities.

The text uses the same definition of cosmetic products than the European regulations. It lays down the requirements for placing cosmetic products on the market of WAEMU Member States, depending on whether they are imported or manufactured locally. It also details the contents of the application file for cosmetics approval.

WAEMU Member States have twelve months to set up an institutional and legal framework complying with the guidelines.

The text of the guidelines is available here below:

Guidelines for the approval of cosmetic products in WAEMU Member States (in French)