Germany objects to obligatory labelling of nano in cosmetics

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Germany

Germany has objected to the obligatory labelling of nano ingredients in cosmetics products, a practice required by the new Cosmetics Directive.

In Brussels last week a further draft of the new European-wide cosmetics regulation was adopted by the European Council.

The Directive was voted on by the European Parliament earlier this year. It then went through the various translation processes necessary and has now been presented anew to the Council.

However, during the Council meeting, Germany expressed concern over the labelling of nano-size ingredients in cosmetics formulations.

According to the new Directive, all nanomaterials appearing in the formulation should be clearly indicated on the list of ingredients.

Could be taken as a warning

But this labelling system could be misunderstood by consumers as a warning, according to the Federal Republic of Germany.

“It cannot in Germany’s view be excluded that the general mention on labels of nano-scale materials in cosmetic products using the term ‘nano’ might be misunderstood by consumers as a warning,”​ it said according to the minutes of the meeting as published by the Council.

In addition, Germany noted that the Directive’s general safety requirements ensure that only safe products be allowed on the market, and that this also applies to products containing nanoparticles.

However, according to the meeting’s minutes Germany did say that information on nano-scale materials may be important for consumers when the particle size results in altered properties.

Another issue brought to attention during the meeting in Brussels was the evolving nature of the definition of a nanomaterial. The Commission noted that the definition is still not fixed but the implementation of the Directive will take into account updates to it.

Counterfeiting crackdown

Furthermore, the Commission said it was concerned about the effect counterfeiting may have on the cosmetics sector and said it would work to enhance co-operation between national authorities to fight it.

The Directive, having now been adopted anew by the Council, needs to be signed by the president before it can be published in the Official Journal. Publication is expected early next year, at which point implementation dates for the changes will be made public.

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