EU sets deadline of 2010 for new Cosmetics Directive

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetics directive, European union

The European Commission has today stated that there will be a new
Cosmetics Directive in place by 2010, a move that addresses the
inaccuracy and inconsistency of the existing directive that has
been in place since 1976.

Stakeholders within the cosmetics industry will today join a consultation round in an attempt to put together a 'simplified and modern' regulatory framework that will be easier to administer, whilst avoiding any unnecessary costs.

The Cosmetics Directive is paramount within the European cosmetics market as it sets the legal framework for cosmetic companies regarding the safety of the products they manufacture, including sunscreens, tooth paste and cleansing goods as well as the standard beauty product.

In force for over 30 years, it has received a massive 48 amendments during that time period. The EU commission has stated that this has made the directive confusing and unclear, and has lead to wrong information being displayed with 'incoherent terminology'.

This has therefore made the regulation of individual substances hard to enforce without sufficient administration costs and extensive resourcing.

Commission vice-president Gunter Verheugen, who is responsible for enterprise and industry policies, said, "We want a modern legislation for cosmetics aiming at streamlining, simplifying and clarifying the multitude of current texts."

"The focus must be on reducing legislation and administrative costs considerably, but making it at the same time more efficient, without effecting public health and safety" he said.

With European cosmetic companies leading the industry with innovative offerings, the Commission has stated that the revised framework is necessary in allowing these companies to continue to play leading roles.

The Commission has also stated that it is seeking the views of stakeholders, including manufacturers, consumer organisations and the academic world, on how to create a comprehensive and workable new framework.

Objectives will be reducing administration costs, strengthening the self-assessment and responsibility of individual manufacturers and maintaining a high level of safety in cosmetics without unnecessary red tape.

Despite the revision of the Directive, the Commission has decided against including the existing provisions on the ban and phasing-out of animal tests for cosmetics products by 2010/2013.

The consultation round is due to close in March this year, with a deadline of 2010 for the finished Cosmetics Directive.

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