The EU cosmetics and perfumes industry market volume, based on retail sales prices at the point of sales, amounted to nearly € 69.5 billion in 2009, compared to the US (€41 billion) and Japan (€ 21.7 billion). The sector provides employment for about 500 million people, whereby the cosmetic industry directly employs 150,000 and another 350,000 indirectly in retail, distribution and transport segments.
- Total exports sales for the industry reached € 11.7 billion for 2008
- The main destinations for cosmetic exports are the US, Russia, Switzerland and Japan.
Within the EU tariffs are very low, but remain high) in a number of countries where they constitute an obstacle to increasing exports. As cosmetics belong to the chemicals sector in a wider sense, the Chemical Harmonisation Tariff Agreement (CHTA) applies to the EU and to other participants (foreseeing a zero for zero duty among its members), the main objective is to reduce tariffs and convince other countries to join CHTA.
As cosmetics remain luxury goods with high price levels, the removal of the main non-tariff barriers would probably boost European sales in export markets as living standards continue to rise. Amongst others, the main non-tariff obstacles are related to registration (labelling) and certification (testing) where technical barriers allegedly justified by human health care, constitute an impediment to trade.
COLIPA (The European Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association) represents the sectors interests.