Dti launches steering committee for cosmetics industry

dti-Cosmetics-Steering-CommitteeIn a combined effort to overcome pressures affecting the cosmetics industry while maximising opportunities for development, the Cosmetics Sector Desk at the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has implemented a Cosmetics Steering Committee (CSC). 

The initial meeting to determine the focus of and representation on the CSC was hosted on 22 November at the Department of Science & Technology in Pretoria. It was attended by key players from the private sector, representatives from various government departments including Treasury, the Department (DoH) of Health’s Medicines Control Council and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), as well as industry associations.

Objectives, trends and outcomes

Outlining the objectives of the steering committee, Sinah Mosehla, director of the Cosmetics Sector Desk, commented: ‘The CSC will take on an advisory role, which is neither regulatory nor legislative. Together we hope to find ways for the industry to overcome key constraints and barriers to trade. Therefore, it is crucial that all industry sectors are represented on the CSC, from academia and associations to the private sector and relevant government departments.’

To kick off the meeting, Mosehla shared Euromonitor stats on the global cosmetics industry which revealed, among other things, a stark influx in finished product imports over the past few years.

This means local producers and brand owners are facing increased competition from international brands, which is a major challenge. The CSC hopes to reverse this trend by working with retailers and local industry players.

Mosehla also shared key consumer trends likely to impact the local industry. These include new innovations, the rise in demand for natural and organic products linked to consumers’ concern for the environment and local communities, sustainability, and a growing interest in male grooming offerings. 

Key industry constraints

While there are many opportunities to grow the South African cosmetics industry, there are also many barriers to trade. To find out more about these barriers, the dti opened the floor to attendees. Arising issues include ad valorem, the Nagoya protocol, BEE codes, free trade agreements with African countries, illegal imports, harmonisation of policies across government departments, and the Access and Benefit-Sharing (BABS) regulations.

The dti also requested nominations for representatives from the various industry sectors to form the actual committee. Those who agreed to give of their time and expertise include industry consultant, John Knowlton; Dennis Chanee from the Cosmetics Sector Desk; Eric Fookes from the Cosmetics Export Council and the Zinplex brand; Wayne van Wyk from Vantage SA; a representative from AMKA; Bruce from Bespoke Amenities; Mike Rigby and Harold Basson from Prime Product Manufacturing; Dr Judey Pretorius from DEA; representatives from DoH, the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association, and the Department of Science & Technology. Representatives from certain retailers will also sit on the committee as well as Christine Charlton from L’Oréal South Africa and Michael Gristwood from the South African Association of the Flavour & Fragrance Industry.

Members of the meeting agreed the committee should be representative of the entire value chain in the cosmetics industry as well as being conducive to small business development.

What happens next?

The CSC will meet once a quarter during 2016 on the following dates: 5 February, 21 April, 3 August and 4 November. The agenda items have also been agreed upon for the first meeting, which will see the CSC tackling ad valorem, BABS, illegal imports, and BEE codes. 

In addition, PHARMACEUTICAL & COSMETIC REVIEW has been nominated by the dti to communicate the outcomes and action plans from all four meetings to the greater industry.

For more information on the CSC, or to share your industry-relevant views, send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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