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  1. Cosmetics International Activities

Cosmetics Exporters

Companies exporting cosmetics from the United States to other countries often have questions about requirements of U.S. government and those of foreign governments. Here are answers to common questions.

For information on export certificates for cosmetics, see Cosmetic Export Certificates

For information on importing cosmetics into the United States, see Information for Importers.

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Do exported cosmetics have to comply with the same requirements as cosmetics marketed in the United States?

Cosmetic requirements in other countries are different from ours, and there may be situations when a product for export does not comply with the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) or Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) for cosmetics marketed domestically. A product intended for export will not be considered adulterated or misbranded if it--

  • meets the specifications of the foreign purchaser,
  • is not in conflict with the laws of the country to which it is intended for export,
  • is labeled on the outside of the shipping package that it is intended for export, and
  • is not sold or offered for sale in domestic commerce. (FD&C Act, Section 801(e); U.S. Code, Title 21, sec. 381(e))

However, cosmetic products sold or offered for sale in domestic commerce must comply with all applicable provisions of the FD&C Act, the FPLA, and any other related laws, as well as the regulations established under authority of these laws.

How do I learn other countries' requirements?

If you are an exporter, it is your responsibility to ensure that your products comply with regulations in the destination country. Significant differences exist among different countries. FDA cannot provide information on regulations in other countries. Embassies may be of assistance, or you may contact regulatory agencies in those countries directly for information.

If you are required by the importing country to obtain an export certificate, you may apply for one by filling out our online application.

How do I learn about requirements other U.S. government agencies may have for exports?

You may need to work with other government agencies before exporting your products due to, for example, possible economic and trade sanctions, or hazardous material shipment concerns. Please refer to "Other Government Agencies You May Need to Know About for a list of other government agencies and related links that may affect your domestic or export business.

If you have questions about U.S. Customs requirements, you need to contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


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