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Guest article

What’s new for cosmetic products in Switzerland?

By Lucy Whitehouse + , 27-Jun-2017

What’s new for cosmetic products in Switzerland?

Swiss regulations recently changed to be harmonized with European ones. In this guest article, COSMED analyzes the main changes to come.

With Project LARGO, the Swiss food law underwent a complete revision since 20 June 2014. The measure aims to harmonize Switzerland’s laws with European Union (EU) by breaking down barriers to trade and upholding bilateral treaties.

Furthermore, consumers in Switzerland will continue to benefit from a high level of protection.

Indeed, the purpose of this Act is to:

  • Protect the health of the consumer by avoiding unsafe food and consumer products;
  • Ensure proper hygienic handling of foodstuffs and consumer products;
  • Protect the consumer from deception;
  • Ensure consumers' ability to make an informed choice

In this way, several ordinances have been updated as Ordinance on foodstuffs and consumer products and ordinance on cosmetic products. Those two latter, entered into force on May 1st, 2017.

  • The Ordinance on foodstuffs and consumer products regulates:
  • The manufacturing, processing, processing, storage, transport and placing on the market of foodstuffs and consumer products;
  • The hygienic conditions for handling foodstuffs and consumer products;
  • The labeling and presentation displaying the useful information which allow the consumer to evaluate and to guard against the inherent dangers.
  • The self-monitoring including sampling and assessment
  • The methods of analysis;
  • The import, export and transit of foodstuffs and consumer products

This ordinance fixes some requirements for cosmetic products on the basis of European regulation. Henceforth, compliance with the lists of regulated substances, the labeling, the obligation to hold a PIF (product information file), compliance with the GMP and the ban on animal testing are now harmonized in Europe and Switzerland with few exceptions.

These Ordinances came into force on May 1st, 2017. Nevertheless, a transitional period applies:

  • For animal testing and the appointment of a responsible person: May, 1st 2018
  • For lists of regulated ingredients: December 31st, 2018
  • PIF redaction and GMP Compliance: April 30th, 2021

The main differences with European legislation are listed here.

Concerning cosmetic claims, Swiss regulation now applies the six common criteria tailored European law: Legal compliance, Truthfulness, Evidential support, Honesty, Fairness, Informed decision-making.

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