August 7, 2009 – The American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA) Board of Trustees recently adopted a trade requirement to support the safe-use and proper-identification of undiluted essential oils used topically and offered for retail sale.

The trade requirement, which AHPA members must come into compliance with by Jan. 9, 2010, requires that undiluted essential oils offered for retail sale and intended for topical use include all of the following information or statements on package labels:

¨      “Keep out of reach of children” or significantly similar cautionary language

¨      “External Use Only,” “Not for Internal Use,” “Not for Ingestion” or significantly similar cautionary language

¨      “Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes” or significantly similar cautionary language

¨      The Latin name of the plant from which the essential oil is derived

¨      Identification of the plant part from which the essential oil is derived

Developed by a working group of AHPA’s Botanical Personal Care Products Committee, composed of both AHPA member companies and nonmember companies involved in the trade of essential oils, the trade requirement is intended to help educate industry and promote the responsible sale and use of undiluted essential oils intended for topical use and sold at retail. The labeling requirement does not address synthetic fragrances, which are not, in fact, essential oils.

All of AHPA’s trade requirements and guidance policies are available on AHPA’s Web site. Companies interested in learning more about the work of the committee should contact the committee’s staff liaison Katia Fowler (301-588-1171 x104).


AHPA Botanical Personal Care Committee:

AHPA Policies:

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal products industry. AHPA is comprised of domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbs and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and nonprescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. Website: