EU Cosmetics Regulation: European Commission Outlines Next Version

Two hands holding compact make-up kit with mirror and applicator pad

November 8, 2021

European Commission plans could impact cosmetic labelling & ingredient safety assessments

The EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 was finalized in 2009, took effect in 2013, and has not been amended since. The European Commission recently published their plans to review the regulation for the first time, some of which could mean fundamental changes to the way cosmetics are labelled and the way ingredients are reviewed for safety.

This revision has been triggered by a requirement to align the regulation with the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), which is part of the EU's zero-pollution ambition, a key commitment of the European Green Deal.

EU regulators shared an outline of their plans, which include:

  • Introducing digital labelling that will allow some information to be made available online instead of on the product packaging.
  • Changing the definition of a nanomaterial in cosmetics to align with other European chemical regulations. This change could mean some materials that are currently not considered nanomaterials in cosmetics having a change in status and requiring nano-specific notifications in the EU.
  • Moving responsibility for assessment of ingredient safety from the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
  • Extending the current provisions for restricting carcinogens, mutagens, and reproductive toxins to other hazard classes, including endocrine disruptors.

The European Commission is running an impact assessment and encouraging stakeholders to provide feedback. A 12-week public consultation will begin soon and will be found on the European Commission "Have Your Say" website. The final proposal for the revision of the EU Cosmetics Regulation is expected toward the end of 2022.

How Exponent Can Help

Exponent will be tracking the progress of this new legislation, and our consultants are ready to help manufacturers and importers of cosmetic products in the European Union and European Economic Area. Our team of cosmetics regulatory experts can carry out thorough formulation and label artwork reviews to advise on how to keep products legal and compliant, as well as provide guidance on all other aspects of bringing cosmetic products to market. Our team of toxicologists and cosmetic safety assessors can complete cosmetic product safety assessments and ingredient safety assessments.