New Rules on Cosmetics Incorporated into the EEA Agreement

Published 05-04-2013
On 5 April 2013, the EEA EFTA States and the EU adopted a Joint Committee Decision (JCD) by written procedure incorporating the EU Regulation on cosmetic products into the EEA Agreement. The aim of the new Regulation is to ensure a high level of safety of cosmetic products by strengthening manufacturer responsibility and in-market control aspects, whilst cutting red tape.

The Regulation contains amendments to technical standards, testing and certification for cosmetic products that are intended to remove legal uncertainties and inconsistencies regarding cosmetics, whilst increasing their safety. The new rules replace multiple sets of national legislation that ratified the old Cosmetics Directive and feature several new additions that relate to the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics, how product claims for cosmetics are used in advertising and labelling as well as strict rules for the use of substances in cosmetics which are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR). With the new Regulation, the use of these substances is essentially forbidden and they can only be used in exceptional cases under strict conditions, which have been tightened.

The JCD will enter into force on 6 April 2013 and the Regulation will apply in the EEA from 11 July 2013. The Regulation requires that certain information about cosmetic products that are placed on or made available in the European market is submitted through the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP).

The CPNP will make this information available electronically to the competent authorities (for the purposes of market surveillance, market analysis, evaluation and consumer information) and to the poison centres or similar bodies established by Member States (for the purposes of medical treatment).

As previously mentioned, the JCD was adopted by written procedure; an exceptional procedure envisaged for the adoption of JCDs, of an important and/or urgent nature, outside the regular EEA Joint Committee meetings where such decisions are usually adopted.