Regulations & Licensing Information
Aromatherapy is currently an unregulated and unlicensed field both for the practice of aromatherapy as well as the manufacture of aromatherapy products. As a whole the industry seeks to comply with current safety and standards of practice and to stay informed about potential impending regulations with regards to manufacturing aromatherapy based products. NAHA is devoted to bringing you up to date information on any impending legislation.
With regards to licensing: aromatherapy is an unlicensed profession in the United States. Many aromatherapy practitioners hold a license in another occupation, e.g. nursing, massage therapy, esthetics, naturopathy, acupuncture, etc. Because licensing tends to be profession driven rather then government driven (although this too may happen, e.g. licensing of reflexologists in the state of WA), it is highly unlikely that we will see a license for aromatherapy anytime soon.
The following resources are provided to keep you up to date on current policies.
NAHA is a member of the American Herbal Products Association
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) (http://www.ahpa.org/) develops guidance policies to advance its mission to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. These policies address a variety of labeling and manufacturing issues and reflect the consensus of AHPA’s members and its board of trustees. Unlike AHPA’s trade recommendations, compliance with AHPA’s guidance policies is not a condition of membership. However, AHPA encourages its members and non-member companies to adopt each of these policies in the interest of establishing consistent and informed trade practices.
Resources for Product Manufacturers
Does the FDA regulate cosmetic products (e.g. cremes, lotions, etc): learn more here!
Current Good Manufacturing Practices are voluntary but may, at some point in the future, become a requirement. Be Prepared!
Whether a product is a cosmetic or a drug under the law is determined by a product's intended use. Different laws and regulations apply to each type of product. Firms sometimes violate the law by marketing a cosmetic with a drug claim or by marketing a drug as if it were a cosmetic, without adhering to requirements for drugs. To learn more, please visit: Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)
A FDA Guide to Good Manufacturing Practices
The cosmetics marketed in the United States, whether they are manufactured here or are imported from abroad, must comply with the labeling requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, the Fair Packaging and Labeling (FP&L) Act, and the regulations published by the Food and Drug Administration under the Authority of these two laws.
The FD&C Act was enacted by Congress to protect consumers from unsafe or deceptively labeled or packaged products by prohibiting the movement in interstate commerce of adulterated or misbranded food, drug devices and cosmetics.
For Canada: Visit here.