Windsor Framework’s impact on beauty and personal care trade between EU, UK and Northern Ireland
03 Mar 2023 --- UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and president of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen have made a “decisive breakthrough” by introducing the Windsor Framework, resulting from the changes made to the original Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol.
PersonalCareInsights speaks to the UK-based Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) to share how the deal may impact the cosmetic trade in this region.
The new framework, according to Sunak, will deliver “smooth-flowing trade within the whole UK, protect NI’s place in the EU and safeguard sovereignty for the people of NI.”
“The EU remains the main trade partner for the UK cosmetics industry and CTPA welcomes the introduction of the Windsor Framework as a positive sign in the relationship between the UK and the EU and the stability provided by the commitment to stop the pursuit of mutual challenges,” Nicholas Shaw Núñez, head of International Growth and Regulatory Services at CTPA, tells us.
Will there be regulatory changes for beauty and personal care?
Núñez explains: “CTPA’s initial assessment indicates that while there are some areas where EU legislation is to be disapplied in NI, this is not the case for all sectors.”
“The Windsor framework does not change the provisions within the NI Protocol about the applicability of EU legislation to NI. The EU Cosmetics Regulation, therefore, remains in place for cosmetic products, meaning that companies will continue to comply with EU legislation when placing products on the NI market,” he adds.
Furthermore, Núñez flags that although the movement of goods might be easier under the new provisions, the compliance requirements remain the same.
“We have contacted our regulators for final confirmation of this assessment, but at the moment of writing, this is our understanding.”
Impact of the Windsor Framework on the industry
Núñez explains that the Windsor Framework does not provide additional benefits to the beauty and personal care industry, only that the deal will smoothe movement.
“The Windsor framework will improve two main aspects that are relevant to most, if not all, industries – it makes it easier to move goods across to NI, therefore integrating NI within UK internal market supply chains and will serve now as a basis for an improved relationship between the UK and EU,” clarifies Núñez.
“Businesses have been concerned about the possible introduction of the NI Protocol Bill and the lingering threat of legal challenges brought by the EU.”
However, “these are now gone,” states Núñez.
“Thereby removing an additional source of concern for an industry that should focus on continued growth. However, while the framework establishes commitments to make the movement of goods easier and introduces some possible changes to specific product categories, such as agrifoods and medicines, many sectors are not directly included in this framework. They, therefore, do not stand to benefit further.”
Nonetheless, the Windsor Framework can benefit companies from reduced red tape and checks during internal UK trade, notes the CTPA.
There will also be full customs procedures arranged for goods intended for the EU market.
“These facilitated procedures are supported by data-sharing arrangements, allowing risk to be an element of market surveillance activities. Additional safeguards may be in place for specific sectors, such as labeling requirements for agri-foods (including ‘not for EU’ indications),” adds the CTPA.
“The Windsor Framework effectively removes the need to pursue other regulatory and legal actions. Therefore, the UK government has agreed to no longer proceed with the NI Protocol Bill (June 2022) and the EU will no longer proceed with the seven legal challenges it had brought against the UK concerning the Protocol.”
Sunak’s deal includes a “Stormont Brake” mechanism, which will give parties in NI the power to veto EU goods laws. The Windsor Agreement lessens the EU’s role in trading arrangements, but the European Court of Justice maintains a role.
By Venya Patel
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