Imported cosmetic products have flooded Indonesian markets following the implementation of the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme among member countries in the region – plus China – a Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) official said Monday.
BPOM head Kustantinah said that of 10,926 cosmetic products that had been registered over the past four months, 5,317 were foreign.
“Foreign products make up 48.66 percent of total registered items,” Kustantinah said.
Kustantinah lamented the lenient ruling implemented since Jan. 1 this year, which only requires cosmetic suppliers to complete an online registration procedure prior to the distribution of their products in ASEAN markets. The online registration process takes only seven days.
The ruling is part of the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme, one among several ACFTA agreements.
“As the monitoring agency on food and drugs, we face higher challenges because we cannot control product distribution. Previously, all cosmetics companies should register [with us] rather than fill out the online registration,” she said, adding that BPOM discovered 12,000 cosmetic samples circulating in the domestic market last year.
“This year, the number of products has increased dramatically, as we found more samples. As of today, we have collected 30,000,” she said.
Indonesian Cosmetics Association chairperson Nuning S. Barwa called on local cosmetics companies to upgrade their competitiveness to survive stiffer competition with foreign products.
“We have to play smart in this free trade era. Indonesian consumers are price-sensitive,” she said.
According to her association’s data, most of the imported products circulating in Indonesia were from Thailand. “Thai cosmetics account for 51 percent here,” Nuning said.
There are approximately 6,200 cosmetics companies throughout the country. Most of them are small enterprises. (lfr)