IFRA Code of Practice

The IFRA Code of Practice is the global fragrance industry's commitment to ensuring best practice in our industry and the safe use of fragrance ingredients and mixtures.

About IFRA and the Code of Practice

The International Fragrance Association represents the interests of the fragrance industry worldwide. Its mission is to promote the safe use of fragrance ingredients and mixtures for everyone’s enjoyment.

The IFRA Code of Practice is the fragrance industry's commitment to ensuring best practice in our industry. It applies to all IFRA members worldwide.

Our Code covers the manufacture and handling of all fragrance ingredients and mixtures and all types of applications, in so far as these are covered by safety assessments conducted by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and consequently fall within scope of the IFRA Standards.

Scope and application

 

Adherence to the IFRA Code of Practice is mandatory for all companies that are members of IFRA.

These companies include Regular Members, Supporting Members and members of National Associations.

The criteria for IFRA membership can be found in the IFRA bylaws.

 

See the list of IFRA Members »

 

Obligations

 

The IFRA Code of Practice has three principal obligations, set out in detail below:

  1. Ensure safe use and regulatory compliance: IFRA members must ensure that the fragrance ingredients and mixtures they supply are safe for their intended uses and comply with applicable regulations and laws. 

  2. Apply the IFRA Standards: IFRA members must apply the IFRA Standards, which ban, restrict or set purity criteria for the use of certain fragrance ingredients, based on scientific evidence. 

  3. Adhere to good operating practices: IFRA members shall follow good operating practices when producing fragrance ingredients and mixtures.
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Ensure safe use and regulatory compliance

Fragrance ingredients and mixtures are subject to laws and regulations adopted by international, regional, national and local regulatory authorities.

These laws and regulations may differ depending on the use of the ingredients or mixtures, and on the location in which they are manufactured, formulated, used and marketed.

It is the responsibility of each IFRA member to ensure that the fragrance ingredients and mixtures they supply comply with applicable laws and are safe for their intended uses.

Application of the IFRA Standards

When warranted by concerns regarding the safe use of a specific ingredient, IFRA will issue an IFRA Standard. IFRA Standards can prohibit, restrict or set purity requirements for specific ingredients. Not all fragrance ingredients are subject to IFRA Standards.

The safety of ingredients, whether the subject of an IFRA Standard or not, remains the responsibility of IFRA members.

Application of the IFRA Standards is necessary for compliance with the IFRA Code of Practice but may not be sufficient to ensure regulatory compliance and the safety of fragrance ingredients and mixtures.  

It is the responsibility of individual companies and their employees, with the support of IFRA and its National Associations, to determine how to apply the IFRA Standards, in accordance with laws, regulations and other requirements of the countries in which they operate.

Development of the IFRA Standards

 

Adoption: IFRA Standards are prepared by IFRA and its Risk Management Task Force on the basis of safety assessments prepared by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and decisions made by an independent Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety.

Consultation: The adoption of IFRA Standards typically includes a three- to six-month consultation of IFRA members, customer associations and other stakeholders, such as regulators and non-governmental groups. If any safety information is generated that might alter the Standards, a new Expert Panel review and decision is required.

Revision: On a regular basis, IFRA notifies new and amended Standards in writing to IFRA members, customer associations and other stakeholders, such as regulators and non-governmental groups. In cases where there are immediate risks identified for human or environmental health, a Standard is communicated as soon as it is adopted. When IFRA members have evidence that warrants the issuance or modification of a Standard, they are obliged to inform IFRA.

Entry into force: Each Amendment clearly specifies when it comes into force for new and existing creations. These timelines may depend on the size, scope and urgency of an Amendment.

Communication: IFRA Standards and related documents are subject to regular updates as new information on the safety of fragrance ingredients becomes available. The latest version of the Standards is available on the IFRA website.

Compliance: IFRA members must comply with IFRA Standards. An IFRA member is deemed to be in breach of this Code when it supplies a product that is in violation of IFRA Standards.

IFRA Standards and other recommendations are developed in good faith and are based on the most recent scientific opinions and collective experiences of various committees and working groups within and outside IFRA.

Companies remain responsible for the products they place on the market; IFRA is not liable for any action taken in applying the IFRA Standards.

 

Adherence to good operating practices

IFRA members shall follow good operating practices when producing fragrance ingredients and mixtures.