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A New Tax for Cosmetics in France

By: Claire Thévenin
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

It was in the air since 2009 … The “Milon tax”—named for the senator who proposed it—was finally voted in late December 2011, as part of the 2012 Social Security Finance Law. It requires cosmetic companies to pay 0.1% of their annual turnover. The tax was conceived in order to fund the cosmétovigilance program of the AFSSAPS (the French agency for sanitary safety of health products) and mimics the existing pharmacovigilance system. It is estimated that it should bring in approximately €10 million. Applicable since March 31, the tax is payable to the Finance Ministry, which will transfer it to the AFSSAPS.

For industry players, it is foreseen that the tax will generate much more money than the actual cost of cosmétovigilance—even taking into account that only “companies who first [launch] products on the market” will have to pay it. Industry association Cosmed estimates that the market (considering all industry players) is worth €6.5 billion. What the Finance Ministry does with the surplus remains to be seen, but, in the meantime, FEBEA (The Federation of Beauty Companies) calls the tax unconstitutional, unjustified and overestimated.

Cosmed Launches “Cosmetic Days”

The SMEs association will launch a new congress, “Cosmetic Days,” scheduled for every other year. The first edition will be held Dec. 6–7, 2012, in Marseille (where Cosmed is based), and the theme will be “sun.”

Different aspects of the beauty industry will be discussed (innovation, markets, regulation, formulation, etc.) along with related issues such as the health effects of sun, light therapy, food supplements and textiles.

More than 20 featured speakers are scheduled, from both academia (notably, Brian Diffey from Newcastle University and Steven A. Brown from Zurich University) and the industry (Marie Béjot from Oenobiol and Dominique Moyal from L’Oréal, for example). In addition to the conferences, stands will allow companies to display their new products, and b-to-b meetings will be set up. Organizers hope to attract 250 participants.