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Poland - Polish cosmetics manufacturer gives the world a makeover

EU trade agreements lower customs duties and other barriers to trade, helping European companies enter new markets.

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From its beginnings in Przemyśl, Poland, in 1983, Inglot Cosmetics has become one of the world’s leading cosmetics manufacturers. It went global in 2006, starting in Canada, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, India, Turkey and the USA. Inglot now has more than 600 shops in 80 countries and opens 60 to 70 more every year.

Inglot cosmetics are high quality, not tested on animals and include a huge variety of colour combinations. The firm develops its products in collaboration with universities around the world. Opening cosmetics stores abroad takes upwards of three months and expansion is made harder by competition and stringent regulations. Inglot has had to submit over 3000 pages of documentation to do business in some countries with which the EU does not have a trade deal.

The EU’s 2013 trade deal with Colombia and Peru cut customs duties and simplified rules. It eased Inglot’s move into South America, which took place in the same year. The company now has 14 shops in Colombia and 11 in Peru. An Inglot lipstick is one of the top products sold by a leading South American online retailer and Inglot is preparing collections in decorative packaging for Colombia and Peru.

Almost all of Inglot’s products are made in Przemyśl, where with over 600 staff the firm is the largest employer. The number of employees is increasing by 12-15% a year. Inglot is now planning to open its first shop in South Korea, a country with which the EU also has a trade deal.

Find out more about the EU’s trade relations with Colombia and Peru