Q&A: IFRA's work and COVID-19

Like many associations, IFRA's work is being impacted by COVID-19 - and we are taking steps to continue to serve our members.

How has COVID-19 affected IFRA’s work?

IFRA quickly took action to protect its own staff from risk and to help prevent the spread of the pandemic.

In February 2020, IFRA meetings planned in any of the worst-affected countries were converted into virtual meetings or postponed.

By mid-March, IFRA staff at the Operations Center in Brussels, Belgium were permitted and then encouraged to work from home ahead of the Belgian federal government’s decision to introduce confinement measures.

Until further notice, IFRA is providing dial-in or video conferencing facilities for all our meetings to ensure business continuity and collaboration with our global network.

In addition to the Global Fragrance Summit (see below), other IFRA events have also been postponed. The IFRA Europe Week, an exhibition, debates and social events originally scheduled for June 2020, has been provisionally rescheduled for June 2021.

What is happening to the Global Fragrance Summit?

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in China and its spread across Asia, IFRA decided in February 2020 to postpone the IFRA Global Fragrance Summit, which had been scheduled for 1-2 April in Singapore.

We still plan to hold the Summit in 2020, in Singapore. The event is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 November, with all participants re-registered for the new event.

IFRA continues to monitor closely the development of the pandemic and will take appropriate decisions on the Summit based on the spread of the COVID-19 virus, travel advice and the travel policies of our member companies.

In all cases, the safety of our members, partners and staff will be paramount.


How will COVID-19 affect timelines for the IFRA Standards?

IFRA’s safe use program, the IFRA Standards, has recently been updated with a new set of rules on the use of certain fragrance ingredients.

On 30 March 2020 the IFRA Board agreed a three-month delay in the originally-published deadlines for compliance with the updated IFRA Standards.

This delay is to support companies whose important reformulation work has been delayed by office closures, disruption to work or absence of employees resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new deadlines are contained in IFRA Information Letter 1089.