What specific EU member state regulations should beauty players know about?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

What specific EU member state regulations should beauty players know about?
Here, an industry expert consultant gives his insights into variation across EU member state regulation for beauty and personal care.

Remco Schade, Vice-President, CCE & Director, CosTec, will be speaking on EU member states’ additional legal requirements at the upcoming Cosmetics Consultants Europe (CCE) Open Academy in Barcelona in October.

Full details of the CCE are available here​, and details so far available for this year’s Open Academy programme are here​.

Where are we seeing specific country legal requirements that differ from the overall EU regulation?

Differences are integrated in the EU 1223/2009, such as the product information file: this should be provided in a language easily understood by the authority of a member state.

But there is no EU consensus what ‘easily understood’ actually means.

Therefore, some countries demand such files in national language, while other EU countries are more generous and also accept, for example, English language product information files.

Another issue is the language criteria for product labelling: consumer labelling must be in the national language, but some EU countries also accepting a more universal (English/French etc.) product categorisation as well, such as general wordings as: “shampoo” or “hair gel”.

Other EU countries don’t, even when the product function is clear by its design already.

GMP focus

Also, the good manufacturing practice (GMP) has our attention, because EU Member States also monitor compliance with the principles of good manufacturing practices.

All have their own criteria for assessment.

Another interesting part is the requirements which go beyond EU 1223/2009 legislation, such as Directive 87/357/EG, on food imitating products.

Some EU countries have the opinion that a cosmetic product that containing additives which effects a spit-out, so no chance to oral intake, do not fulfil the requirements to be considered as this type of product.

Other EU countries are more strict, and have banned all cosmetic products seeming as food imitations.

How do these national demands pose a challenge for the cosmetics industry? How can the industry respond to this challenge?

By doing intra-EU business, these national demands can be a serious issue for the cosmetic industry.

In such cases, it is our recommendation to have insight information of the other EU country’s demands available. And ask a local expert when required.

As the cosmetic industry, we should be alert to such national rulings and interpretations. And the CCE tries to get Brussels to pay attention to this.      

Should the industry push for ever greater regulatory alignment/cooperation internationally? Why? And if so, how can this be done?

Logically, we are somewhat ambivalent on this. By one hand, alignment should give respite to our industry. Some important areas, such as the language criteria for a product information file, comes into harmonisation.

On the other hand, all EU laws must pass the digestive process into a national regulation, and this process remains.

Therefore, as an innovation-driven industry, we believe it is crucial to avoid adding more red tape than the bare minimum required.

My conclusion is that the industry should deal with it, as it as right now. And as said, let’s keep a close contact through our local experts and with the European Commission.

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