Cosmetic Harmonization Puts Indonesia into Loss
Tuesday, 03 July, 2007 | 15:56 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: Head of the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) Husniah Runiana Thamrin Akib is of the opinion that harmonization of cosmetics at the level of Southeast Asian countries tends to cause a loss for Indonesia. This is because Indonesia’s cosmetics are not yet ready to compete internationally.

“Cosmetics in Indonesia are mostly involved with small industries. They are slated to compete with foreign cosmetic industries,” she told Tempo in Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, yesterday (2/7).

This harmonization, she said, is carried out in terms of trade globalization. Everywhere, she said, globalization tends to benefit developed countries and cause loss for developing countries.

It is planned that cosmetic harmonization at ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) level will be begun in early 2008. By then all cosmetics produced by ASEAN members will enter Indonesia. The problem is, said Husniah, there are ASEAN members that are not yet ready for harmonization, such as Myanmar.

With harmonization, the cosmetic industry does not have to ask BPOM’s permission. The industry is enough to issue notification of distribution of cosmetics. In addition, the listed cosmetic products need not be tested prior to distribution. “The monitoring is carried out after the products are distributed,” said Husniah.

Mustika Ratu’s cosmetic entrepreneur, Mooryati Soedibyo, instead believes that local cosmetics have already been able to compete with ASEAN members’ cosmetics. The reason is cosmetic sales prices of small industries are cheaper. “Harmonization can also help small enterprises to progress,” she said.

ASEAN harmonization, according to Mooryati, who is also Deputy Chairperson of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), will facilitate Indonesian cosmetic products to enter other countries. “So far it’s difficult to enter the market abroad due to tight procedures,” said the founder of the ASEAN Cosmetic Association.

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