On 19 August 2016 the Department of Health in South Africa published draft Regulations relating to the Labelling, Advertising and Composition of Cosmetics in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act 54 of 1972.

These draft Regulations, in summary, provide for:

  • Categories of cosmetic products;
  • Measures to ensure the safety of these products;
  • A mandatory product information file;
  • Good manufacturing practice;
  • Prohibited substances in the composition of cosmetics;
  • Labelling requirements;
  • Product claims;
  • Advertising; and
  • Penalties.

Amongst other provisions, the draft Regulations provide that no person may sell, manufacture or import any cosmetic that “may cause damage to human health when used under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use”. Also, it is provided that the manufacturer, packer, and distributor must keep a product file for each cosmetic, and that the manufacture of goods must comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

Further, a product may not contain any prohibited substances (these are listed in the draft Regulations) and misleading or deceptive claims are prohibited.

The draft Regulations also set out new criminal offences. For example, under these Regulations it is an offence to label a product “recommended by doctors” or to imply that a product is recommended by doctors.

Written submissions and comments to the proposed Regulations must be submitted within three months of the publication of this draft, i.e. by 19 November 2016.