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New EU cosmetics regulation in place next year: a closer look

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 11-Oct-2012

As upcoming industry events in Europe and beyond turn their attention to the new EU cosmetics regulations being exercised next year, Cosmetics Design takes a look at some of the key points from the new legislation.

From July 11, 2013 onward, cosmetic products placed on the market of European Economic Area are obliged to comply with the new European cosmetics regulations (EC) No 1223/20092, of which some provisions will be enforced beforehand.

It will replace the old cosmetics directive 76/768/EEC and aims to simplify the cosmetic requirements of EEA, making itself a single law, and eliminating ambiguities that may occur among the member states during the enforcement process.

Whilst the industry has had enough time to familiarise itself with the new regulations, it is important for both those in Europe or interested in operating in Europe to be aware of some of the key points.

Key areas

Nanotechnology has long been a big talking point in cosmetics and the new regulation states that nanoparticles must be specified on the label with such an ingredient using the suffix ‘nano’.

Furthermore all products and their raw materials will have to be disclosed on an EU database to ensure consumer safety. This means that in the case of an adverse event where a cosmetic ingredient may be affecting the consumer this can be sufficiently dealt with.

Any adverse reactions will also have to be reported to the relevant country’s authorities where this information can then be made public, further ensuring safety.

The new EU cosmetic regulation also specifies that particular protocols must be followed during safety assessments and toxicology qualification is also mandatory; tightening up the current methods.

Tightening up claims

The rules will also get stricter regarding claims made about a product. There must be relevant data on file to back up any claim.

Article 20 of the Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 on cosmetic products states that products claims should “not be used to imply that cosmetic products have characteristics or functions which they do not have” and that calls for the setting up of common criteria for all types of claims.

With regards to these claims, the previously published Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice says that cosmetics advertising and marketing communication “should not denigrate any person or group of persons, firm, organisation, industrial or commercial activity, profession or product, or seek to bring it or them into public contempt or ridicule”.

Cosmetics will also have to be produced under controlled conditions, which should not change too much with present formulation conditions.

The new laws should not change too much for larger or medium sized companies but should serve to tighten up the current regulations regarding the formulation and supply of cosmetics.

As of 11 January 2012, nano materials in cosmetics will be incorporated into the legal regime. In addition to the need to comply with other notification requirements, as to cosmetic products containing nano-materials put on the market before January 11, 2013, companies should notify the Committee by electronic means for approval to use before July 11, 2013.

All cosmetics should then apply to the new regulation from 11 July 2013. For a copy of the new regulation, click here.

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