EU Strengthens Cooperation with U.S.
on Cosmetics and Medical Devices
The trade relationship
between the U.S. and the EU in the field of cosmetics and medical devices is
strong: Around 7 percent of all cosmetic products in the U.S. are imported
from the EU, which amounts to a trade volume of almost 3 billion euros per
year. U.S.-exports of cosmetics to the EU amount to approx 1.5 billion
euros. The bilateral trade volume in medical devices is balanced, with each
trading partner exporting about 6.5 billion euros to the other on an annual
In a recent development, The European Commission
and U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed confidentiality arrangements at a
bilateral meeting in Brussels, enabling better health protection and easier
trade between the European Union and the United States. The EC and the U.S.
Government will from now on be able to exchange confidential information about
the safety of cosmetics and medical devices.
The EU and U.S. will be able to exchange early information to protect public
health, whilst taking away stumbling blocks for trade. In the field of
cosmetics, today's agreement represents an important step towards our goal of
accepting each other’s alternative methods to animal testing.”
Closer economic cooperation is the main aim of the new Transatlantic Economic
Council (TEC), launched last week in Berlin. The TEC's work program covers
cooperation initiatives to harmonize standards and improve trade in the areas of
Regulatory Cooperation, Intellectual Property Rights, Secure Trade, Financial
Markets, Innovation and Technology and Investment.
The new confidentiality arrangements will allow exchange of information between
the parties as part of their regulatory mandates in the field of cosmetics and
medical devices. The types of information covered include:
Advance drafts of legislation and/or regulatory
Post-marketing data and information that could have
an impact on the public health, such as vigilance data or information about
impending regulatory actions.
Information on ongoing and emerging regulatory
issues of health and safety in the U.S. or the EU.