The Thailand Cosmetic Act protects consumers of cosmetics and categorizes cosmetics into specially controlled designations. According to the Cosmetic Act of 1992, the focus of the regulation has been changed from pre-marketing activities to post-marketing activities, originating from the perception that utilisation of technical requirements and practice of good manufacturing guidelines ensures quality of cosmetic products. Manufacturers or importers of cosmetic products must notify the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of all required information according to the law. The FDA are responsible for providing suggestions or recommendations to the Minister of Public Health on matters pertaining to cosmetics, providing advice or opinions on registration and revocation of registration of specially controlled cosmetics as well as all other issues concerning cosmetic regulations.
Agreement on ASEAN Harmonised Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme (AHCRS) was signed by ASEAN cosmetic regulators on 2 September 2003 to regulate cosmetic products among ASEAN countries. All cosmetic products marketed in 10 member countries must comply with the Directive by 1 January 2008.
All cosmetic regulators are required to provide notification on controlled cosmetics with the Thai FDA in line with the requirements in AHCRS. General cosmetics (those that neither contain controlled or specially controlled substances nor qualify as specially controlled cosmetics or controlled cosmetics), will now be subjected to the requirements as controlled cosmetics.
Manufacturers or importers are required to submit documents to reclassify the cosmetics products with the Thai FDA as controlled cosmetics by 1 January 2011. Reclassification of the products has changed the cosmetic or beauty industry. Manufacturers and importers of general cosmetics must comply with the requirements of controlled cosmetics and notify the Thai FDA by 31 December 2010. Information that must be provided to the Thai FDA includes (1) registered business name and address of office and storage place of manufacturer or importer; (2) name, category, or kind of cosmetics to be manufactured or imported; (3) details of all ingredients; and (4) product label.
Further, an e-submission system has been implemented since 1 June 2010 and all applicants are now required to submit the product registration electronically, which automatically lessens the pendency period. The changes implemented by the Thai FDA are driven by the need to comply with the ASEAN Harmonized Cosmetic Regulatory Scheme, which is intended to lessen the FDA’s role in pre-marketing activities as the focus of regulation has been changed from pre-marketing activities to post-marketing activities.