Following no less than three new EU Directives in the area of cosmetics and animal testing of ingredients, the UK is limbering up to implement them in one fell swoop with new regulations.
The Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004
There are no less than three so far unimplemented EU directives which deal with cosmetic safety. They contain labelling and marketing requirements not already introduced by the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
The Government proposes to transpose them into UK law in one fell swoop, with one set of Regulations.
The Regulations will implement an EU wide ban on animal testing for finished cosmetic products from 11 March 2005, with a marketing ban on these products from 11 March 2009.
From the marketing perspective, there will be a total ban on the marketing of finished cosmetic products which have been tested on animals and a total ban on the marketing of cosmetic products ingredients or combinations of ingredients which have been tested on animals.
The marketing ban will apply no matter where the cosmetic products originate.
From a labelling point of view, 26 fragrance/perfume ingredients which were never listed individually but rather just listed as "perfume" must now be listed in the ingredients list as an individual substance when their concentration exceeds specified amounts. This will help fragrance allergy sufferers to make informed decisions as to which perfumes they can use safely.
All cosmetic products will have to have a safety assessment carried out before they are placed on the market and may be made available, upon request, to enforcement authorities.
In addition, safety information must be made available to the public, i.e. products with a durability of 30 months or more must carry an open jar logo and an indication of how long they may be safely used once opened. Information on cosmetic ingredients/substances and any known adverse effects must also be easily available to the public.
Next important date
The DTI has published a consultation document containing the proposals for the new regulations. Responses are requested by Thursday 15 July 2004.