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EC proposes new Cosmetics Regulation

The European Commission has published a proposal which aims to simplify the European law on cosmetics by strengthening product safety while reducing costs for businesses. According to the press release,‘requirements for product safety assessments are clarified and simplified notification rules for new cosmetics cut administrative costs for enterprises by 50%’.  

The simplification of the Cosmetics Directive is based on an Impact Assessment Report, which mentions the nanoscale under Problem identification: 'The Commission has identified four issues to be addressed in a simplification exercise:

2.2.3. Ensuring the safety of cosmetic products in the light of innovation

  • Use of known ingredients in nanosizes: Future innovation is likely to be based on new physical characteristics of existing substances: the most prominent example is the use of particles in micronised forms. Micronised particulars are presently in use as physical UV-filters…as such, their use in cosmetic products has to be authorised by the European Commission. However, other uses in other types of cosmetic products cannot be excluded in the future.’

In the Commission’s proposal for a new ‘Cosmetics Regulation’ this particular issue is addressed through an addition to Chapter III on Safety assessment, product information file, notification:

‘Article 10: Notification

1. The responsible person shall submit, prior to placing the cosmetic product on the market, the following information to the Commission:
(a) the category of cosmetic product and its complete commercial name...
(e) the presence of substances in the form of micronised particles other than substances listed in Annexe III to VI to this Regulation’

(NOTE: Annex III includes TiO2 and ZnO)

The press release notes that 'the Commission is proposing to simplify the Cosmetics Directive in the form of a recast, i.e. a legislative technique which enables to codify a legislative text and its amendments and to introduce substantive improvements. The proposal is going to be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council who engage in co-decision procedure'.


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