Registration is not required prior to selling regular cosmetics products in the USA. However, a cosmetics brand must always be able to prove the safety of their products in the event of an FDA audit or a consumer complaint.
American cosmetics regulations provide the option of registering a cosmetic product with the FDA through the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP).
The VCRP is a reporting system used by manufacturers, packagers and distributors of cosmetic products that are in commercial distribution in the United States. The VCRP assists the FDA in the regulation of cosmetics by providing information regarding cosmetic products and ingredients, their frequency of use and the companies involved in their manufacture and distribution in order to evaluate cosmetic products on the market.
Registration is not mandatory and is done on a voluntary basis. It’s not a cosmetics approval program nor a promotional program. Responsibility for a product’s compliance is assumed by the cosmetics company. Nevertheless, this registration program was created in order to better monitor the market. Any cosmetics company is eligible for registration if domestic sales exceed $1,000.
BIORIUS recommends registering since it provides protection in the event of any issues with the cosmetic product. Voluntary submission provides the FDA with the best estimate of information regarding cosmetic products & ingredients and allows for better market control. For example, if a cosmetic ingredient is considered harmful and needs to be removed from the product formula, information received via the program helps the FDA notify the company whose products are affected.
The VCRP applies only to regular cosmetics products being sold to consumers in the United States. This voluntary registration is not applicable to products for professional use (e.g., products used in beauty salons or spas) nor does it apply to products that are not for sale (e.g., samples and/or cosmetic products available in hotel rooms).
How does it work?
BIORIUS’ process consists of two phases: account creation and registration.
- Account Creation: The cosmetics company sets up its account online.
- Registration: BIORIUS’ experts register the cosmetic product.
In order to proceed with the VCRP, BIORIUS’ experts analyze the product composition in addition to each raw material contained within, along with the product category and its specificities as per the formula review step of the US Compliance Service (link via the US page).
A registration certificate stating the product name and its VCRP number is then issued and sent to the cosmetics company.