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12 Jul, 2013

New EU Rules to boost cosmetics safety, combat misleading claims


Brussels, 11 July 2013 European Commission Press release – As of today, cosmetics on shop shelves, both manufactured in the EU and imported from third countries, should be fully compliant with the Cosmetics Regulation ensuring strengthened safety standards and providing better information for the consumers.

Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Consumer Policy, said: “From daily essentials like toothpaste to that little luxury of a new lipstick or aftershave, consumers are now better protected and have clearer information about the cosmetics they buy. The new rules also make enforcement easier, bringing greater peace of mind and confidence in the products purchased.”

Greater confidence should benefit producers as well as consumers. With many world leaders in this sector, and with over 4000 cosmetic manufacturers, the cosmetics industry is a major asset for the EU in the globalised economy. The sector creates directly and indirectly over 1.5 million jobs.

The most significant changes introduced by the Cosmetics Regulation adopted by Council and Parliament in 2009 include:

Strengthened safety requirements for cosmetic products: As of today, manufacturers need to follow specific requirements in the preparation of a product safety report prior to placing a product on the market.

Introduction of the notion of ‘responsible person’: Only cosmetic products for which a legal or natural person is designated within the EU as ‘responsible person’ can be placed on the market. The new Cosmetics Regulation allows the precise identification of who the responsible person is and clearly outlines the obligations. The responsible person must also keep the product information file, including the safety assessment of the product, available and up-to-date in case of inspection of the national market surveillance authorities.

Centralized notification of all cosmetic products placed on the EU market: Manufacturer will need to notify its product only once – via the EU Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP). The information stored in the portal will allow the personnel of national Anti-Poison Centres to access the composition of the products within seconds, in case of accidents, and the competent authorities to easily access information on all the cosmetic products placed on the EU market for market surveillance purposes.

Introduction of reporting of serious undesirable effects: a responsible person will have an obligation to notify serious undesirable effects to competent national authorities. The authorities will also collect information coming from e.g. users and health professionals, and will be obliged to share the information with other EU Member States.

New rules for the use of nanomaterials in cosmetic products: Colorants, preservatives and UV-filters, including those that are nanomaterials, must be explicitly authorized. Products containing other nanomaterials not otherwise restricted by the Cosmetics Regulation will be the object of a full safety assessment at the EU level, if the Commission has concerns. Nanomaterials must be labelled in the list of ingredients with the word ‘nano’ in brackets following the name of the substance, e.g. “titanium dioxide (nano)”.

In addition, a new Commission Regulation adopted today sets out common criteria for cosmetic claims: Manufacturers wanting to put a claim on their product, e.g. “48 hrs efficiency” for deodorants, will have to follow six common criteria: legal compliance, truthfulness, evidential support, honesty, fairness and informed-decision making. National competent authorities will be able to check claims against these criteria.


  • Cosmetics include not just make-up, perfums and after-shaves but also products which are vital for the health and well-being of consumers such as sunscreen, toothpaste and cleansing products
  • The new Cosmetics Regulation, adopted in 2009, enters into force on 11 July 2013 following a transition period to allow industry to adapt to the new rules. European legislation on cosmetics was first adopted 35 years ago and has been substantially revised on no less than 7 occasions.

For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/sectors/cosmetics/index_en.htm