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Europe Reach Regulation for Various Sectors

Cosmetics Directive - The Directive 76/768/EC has been governing the composition, labelling and packaging of finished cosmetic products in the European Union since 1976 and is now replaced by the Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009.

Cosmetics Regulation - Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, on cosmetic products, entered into force on 11 January 2010. From 11 July 2013, it completely replaced Directive 76/768/EEC, on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products. Being common to all Member States, the Regulation sought to address the remaining gaps among national transpositions of the Directive and to streamline procedures.

This law was created to establish standards for cosmetic products that would be applicable in the EU-27 and 4 EFTA countries: Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.


Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 on cosmetic products covers cosmetics defined as:

  • Any substance or mixture,
  • Intended to be placed in contact with
    • The external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs), or
    • Teeth and mucous membranes of the oral cavity
  • With the any of the following as its main or exclusive purpose: cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odors

Regulation (EU) 655/2013 is provided in Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, and therefore covers claims made in relation to cosmetics according to the same definition.

Main requirements under Regulation (CE) 1223/2009

Obligations under the regulation fall on a Responsible Person (RP), who must ensure compliance. The RP must be established within the European Union (must be a natural or legal person within the Union).

Thus, RPs have obligations in relation to the product itself (including labelling and claims) and relative to market placement notification and follow-up.


Product-related obligations

Products available on the market must be safe for human health when used under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use.

Ingredient restrictions

To this end, RPs must comply with the ingredient obligations set out in the Regulation, as set out in its annexes (which are regularly updated)

    • Annex II – Prohibited substances
    • Annex III – Substances with restrictions (e.g. maximum concentrations)
    • Annex IV – List of colorants allowed (non-listed products can’t be used)
    • Annex V – List of preservatives allowed (non-listed products can’t be used)
    • Annex VI – List of UV filters allowed (non-listed products can’t be used)

Good manufacturing practice

Cosmetic products must be manufactured in accordance with the ISO 22716 standard (or any other equivalent standard). This is self-certified, but third-party certification is possible.

Labelling and claims

Labelling in the container and packaging must include the following information

  • Name and address of the Responsible Person and country of origin for imported products ;
  • Nominal content (with some exceptions for packaging containing less than 5mL or 5mg, free samples or single application pack) ;
  • The function of the product (unless it is clear from the presentation) ;
  • Date of minimum durability (when <30 months) or period after opening where the product is safe and can be used with no harm to the consumer ;
  • Batch or reference number (if impracticable, it need only apply in the packaging) ;
  • Precautions of use ;
  • The list of ingredients in order of weight and in INCI name system preceeded by the term "ingredients" (substances or mixtures intentionally used, not including impurities in raw materials or subsidiary technical materials not present in the final product).

Where it is impossible to include the precautions and ingredients in the label, they must be included in an attached leaflet, label, tape, tag or card.

The language of the information (except the product name, ingredients and batch number) is determined by national legislation.


Claims must comply with Regulation (EU) 655/2013, which establishes common criteria for claims. These must be :

  • Truthful
  • Supported with evidence
  • Honest
  • Fair
  • Informative and understandable

Claims referring to the fact that no animal testing has been carried out may only be done if no animal testing has been used to develop the finished cosmetic product, its prototype, or its ingredients.


Information-related obligations  

Under Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, a RP must compile information relevant to the product in a Product Information File (PIF), notify Competent Authorities when placing said product on the market, and develop a system to monitor and report on undesirable effects. A list of Competent Authorities for every Member State may be found here.

The Product Information File

The Product Information File is the key document needed before placing a product on the European market since it serves as evidence that the product is compliant to the Regulation. It gathers technical documents related to the finished product and its raw material for a Safety Assessor to perform a thorough analysis.  The PIF is divided into 6 sections: 

  1. A description of the cosmetic product that enables the PIF to be attributed to the cosmetic product. 
  2. The cosmetic product safety report (CPSR).
  3. A description of the method of manufacturing and a statement on compliance with good manufacturing practice (GMP) according to ISO standards 22716. 
  4. Where justified by the nature of the effect of the cosmetic product, proof of the effect claimed for the cosmetic product.
  5. Data on any animal testing performed by the manufacturer, his agents or suppliers, relating to the development or safety assessment of the cosmetic product or its ingredients, including any animal testing performed to meet the legislative or regulatory requirements of countries outside the EU.
  6. Information on the label.

The PIF must be kept by the RP for 10 years after the date of the last batch of the cosmetic product was placed on the market. The PIF shall be available to the Competent Authorities of the Member State where it is kept.

Notification on the CPNP

Prior to placing a product on the market, the following information must be submitted by the RP to the European Commission, using the Commission’s Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP) :

  • The product’s category and its name or names
  • Name and address of the RP where the PIF is available
  • Country of origin (for imports)
  • Member State where the product will be placed in the market
  • Contact details of a physical person (who will be contacted in case of necessity)
  • The presence of nanomaterials
  • Name and CAS number of CMR substances
  • Frame formulation
  • Original labelling and a photograph of the packaging


In the case of serious undesirable effects, the RP and distributors must notify the Competent Authority of the Member State where the effect occurred, providing the following information:

  • All serious undesirable effects that are known to the RP (or which might be reasonably expected to be known to him)
  • Name of the product, enabling its identification
  • Corrective measures taken (if any)

A list of Competent Authorities for every Member State may be found here

  • Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 is enforced by a “Competent authority” in each member state,
  • Each member state their own authority and enforcement
  • Each Manufacturer/Distributor/Responsible person shall submit the information to member state authority and then each member state shall communicate to EU commission so as to harmonies the information at National

The competent authorities of the Member States shall cooperate with each other and with the Commission to ensure proper application and due enforcement of this Regulation and shall transmit to each other, all information necessary with a view to applying this Regulation uniformly.

The Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP) is a free of charge online notification system created for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products. When a product has been notified in the CPNP, there is no need for any further notification at national level within the EU.

The CPNP is accessible to :

  • Competent Authorities
  • European Poison Centres
  • Cosmetic products responsible persons
  • Distributors of cosmetic

The term ‘manufacturer’ has a wide definition under the cosmetics legislation and includes the entity which has a product designed or manufactured, and markets the cosmetic product under its name or trademark. Therefore, unless it has explicitly been mandated as such in writing, a contract manufacturer / filler will normally not be considered as the Responsible Person as it is providing services for a third party and not in its own name.  

It is the responsibility of the Responsible Person (RP) to ensure that every product placed on the EU market complies with the requirements of the Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. The RP's duties relate to all aspects regulated under the EU cosmetics legislation:

  • Safety
  • Good Manufacturing Practice
  • Safety assessment
  • Product Information File
  • Sampling and analysis
  • Notification
  • Restrictions for substances listed in Annex III
  • Substances classified as CMR substances
  • Nanomaterials
  • Traces of prohibited substances
  • Animal testing
  • Labelling
  • Product claims
  • Access to information for the public
  • Communication of serious undesirable effects
  • Information on substances

Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 Article 8 establishes ISO 22716 or equivalent as the requirements for good manufacturing practice (GMP).  

ISO 22716 is the GMP standard and provides organisational and technical guidance on the management of the human, technical and administrative factors affecting cosmetic product manufacture and product quality.  

The documentation system implemented should incorporate the following (this list is not exhaustive):  

  • procedures  
  • instructions  
  • specifications  
  • protocols  
  • reports (such as complaint reports, deviation reports, investigation reports or recall reports)  
  • methods  
  • records  

Animal Testing Prohibited :

The Cosmetics Directive provides the regulatory framework for the phasing out of animal testing for cosmetics purposes. Specifically, it establishes:

  • Testing ban - prohibition to test finished cosmetic products and cosmetic ingredients on animals;
  • Marketing ban - prohibition to market finished cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU which were tested on
  • The testing ban - on finished cosmetic products applies since 11 September 2004; the testing ban on ingredients or combination of ingredients applies since 11 March
  • The marketing ban applies since 11 March
Obligation for supply chain communication How it will be done and who all are responsible ?

Responsible person has an obligation to communicate within supply chain on behalf of EU manufacturer and importer. Responsible persons who consider or have reason to believe that a cosmetic product which they have placed on the market is not in conformity with this Regulation shall immediately take the corrective measures necessary to bring that product into conformity, withdraw it or recall it, as appropriate.

Furthermore, where the cosmetic product presents a risk to human health, responsible persons shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available and of the Member State in which the product information file is readily accessible, giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of the corrective measures taken.

Responsible persons shall cooperate with these authorities, at the request of the latter, on any action to eliminate the risks posed by cosmetic products which they have made available on the market. In particular, responsible persons shall, further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of specific aspects of the product, in a language which can be easily understood by that authority.

GPC can :

  • Review your formulation 
  • Test the physic-chemical properties of your product 
  • Test the microbiology of your product 
  • Perform a safety assessment 
  • Perform regulatory monitoring 
  • Give regulatory consulting 

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