New EU Cosmetics Regulations Enter into Force
As of 11th July 2013, the new Cosmetics Regulation has entered into force, following a four year transition period which has allowed the cosmetics sector to comply with the new legislation.
The new legislation promotes the protection of the consumer and looks carefully at the ingredients, potential side effects and the realism of the claims that the manufacturers make. This movement implements all manufacturers, importers and retailers looking to place their products on the EU market.
Cosmetics Europe is the trade association that represents the European cosmetics and personal care industry. The Director-General of Cosmetics Europe, Bertil Heerink, said: “For the first time, the world’s largest personal care market of more than 500 million consumers will be served by a single, harmonised piece of legislation, directly applicable in all the Member States of the European Union. The regulation gives consumers a uniform level of protection in a single market, and brings about unprecedented clarity within the industry.”
This positive movement provides a more open and honest approach that promotes consumer understanding, allowing us to make informed decisions on the products we use. Every member of Cosmetics Europe is expected to be fully compliant with the new regulations and the law overrules any previous Directive that may have existed beforehand, allowing for no exceptions.
The European Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Neven Mimica, stated that this regulation makes “enforcement easier, bringing greater peace of mind and confidence in the products purchased.”
Cosmetics Regulation Requirements
The main changes to the regulations include:
- More stringent safety requirements: specific requirements must be followed in the preparation of product safety reports before the product is placed on the market.
- The introduction of a responsible person: all products sold in the EU must have a designated responsible person. This responsible person must keep an up-to-date record of the product information file (which includes the product’s safety assessment) available for inspection by the national market surveillance authorities.
- The Reporting of Undesirable Effects: the Responsible Person is obligated to notify authorities of all serious undesirable side-effects of the product they represent. National authorities will also collect information from consumers and health care professionals, which will then be shared with the other EU countries.
- Submission of ingredients to a product information portal: product manufacturers must submit their product ingredients to the EU Cosmetics Procedure Notification Portal (CPNP). The portal’s concise database allows national Anti-Poison Centres to access product compositions within seconds should an accident occur. Competent authorities are also able to use this portal for surveillance purposes, allowing them to access the information on all cosmetic products sold within the EU market.
- Authorisation and defining nanomaterials within ingredient lists: nanomaterials, colourants, preservatives and UV filters must be explicitly authorised. Any products that contain nanomaterials that have not been restricted by the Cosmetics Regulation will undergo a full safety assessment should the Commission express concerns. Nanomaterials are also required to be labeled “(nano)” within the list of ingredients, e.g. titanium dioxide (nano)
- Justifiable cosmetic claims: Manufacturers who wish to make claims about their product must undergo an evaluation to ascertain the truthfulness of these claims. There must be evidence to support the claims to allow the end user to make an informed decision.
To date, much has been written regarding concerns over the safety of cosmetic ingredients. The industry has been slow to address these issues as it entailed a giant restructuring over several industries. It is encouraging to see these concerns now being addressed and, after a readjustment period of four years, the cosmetics industry within the EU now emerges as a safer market.
image cc: Andres Hernandez