On November 1, 2018, a notification came into force requiring a letter of authorization or license agreement to be submitted to the Thai Food and Drug Administration (“Thai FDA”) with any notification of a new cosmetic product.
The new requirement is set out in the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health B.E. 2561 (2018) Re: Applications, Issuing of Licenses, Renewal of Licenses, and Amending of Applications or Licenses, which was published on August 26, 2018. Although the notification was released earlier this year, the Thai FDA only began enforcing this requirement in November.
The letter of authorization or trademark license agreement, which should come from the trademark owner, acts as proof that the trademark owner has authorized the notifying party to import its cosmetic products into Thailand and to notify the FDA. The Thai FDA has produced a Sample Letter of Authorization to assist cosmetics license holders, and future applicants, in producing this.
This new requirement is a positive step by the Thai FDA to protect licensed or authorized goods from parallel imports. Parallel importation has been a recurrent problem for the cosmetics industry, as evidenced by the Thai FDA’s cosmetics database, which contains many entries for cosmetic products that were entered by companies without proper authorization from the trademark owners. Until now, unauthorized companies seeking to import and distribute parallel imports have been able to tactically make a notification simply by copying and pasting the cosmetic ingredients from the labels of the authorized cosmetic goods.
We believe that this new requirement will significantly curtail this practice, and have a substantial effect on parallel imports.
If you would like more information on obtaining a certified trademark certificate from the Department of Intellectual Property, on preparing an authorization letter or license agreement, or on any other aspect of cosmetics notification with the Thai Food and Drug Administration, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected].