49th Amendment to the IFRA Code of Practice
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) was founded in 1973 and represents the interests of the fragrance industry worldwide. The IFRA Code of Practice is essentially the “global fragrance industry’s commitment to promoting the safe use of fragrance for everyone’s enjoyment”. Fragrance compliance means following the rules of the IFRA Code of Practice and the IFRA Standards.
Marta Pinto

Marta Pinto

Regulatory Affairs Associate

FRAGRANCE INGREDIENTS AND REGULATION 

Fragrances are complex mixtures of aromatic substances of natural and/or synthetic origin that are added to cosmetics and personal care products to impart a pleasant and distinctive odour, mask the inherent odour of some ingredients and/or enhance the use experience of the product. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Regulation, a fragrance is “any natural or synthetic substance or substances used solely to impart an odor to a cosmetic product.” In the European Union (EU) and according to the European Cosmetic Regulation No. 1223/2009, perfume mixtures are labelled collectively as “parfum,” except for 26 specific perfume ingredients which are required to be listed individually. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) develop and set voluntary standards for chemicals in the fragrances used in cosmetic products through a comprehensive assessment program. 

Some fragrance ingredients may have the potential to cause allergic contact skin reactions (like dermal sensitization) and it is possible to conduct a safety assessment using a methodology called Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) to determine safe use levels of fragrance ingredients in a variety of consumer product types. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) have used QRA to conduct these safety assessments.  

IFRA CODE OF PRACTICE AND THE NEW AMENDMENT 

IFRA Code of Practice englobes the manufacture and handling of all fragrance materials, for all types of applications. IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally accepted and recognized risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the IFRA Code of Practice. These Standards limit or ban the usage of certain fragrance materials. IFRA gathers information regarding the safety of individual fragrance ingredients and reviews that information to determine safety under expected conditions of product use. The conclusions of the IFRA safety reviews are published in the IFRA Code of Practice which provides critical guidance to fragrance formulators and users to establish product safety. 

Due to new scientific developments, amendments are made to the Code and Standards. Since January 20th, 2020, a new Amendment was put in force. Within 25 months, all fragrances need to comply with the 49th IFRA Amendment.  

The 49th Amendment to the IFRA Code of Practice presents a total of 125 new and revised standards. The IFRA categories for dermal sensitization and systemic toxicity endpoints have been revised and harmonized.  

Fragrance manufacturers and cosmetic companies have the responsibility to ensure that the fragrances used are safe and compliant with the IFRA Code of Practice and Standards.  

IFRA Certificates of the 48th Amendment will not be accepted after February 2022. If you need any help regarding this subject, don’t hesitate to contact us.  

References: 

  1. Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products  
  1. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) – Notification of the 49th Amendement to the IFRA Code of Practice, 2019  
  1. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) – Guidance for the use of IFRA Standards, 2019 

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