New intended bans on the use of preservatives in cosmetics have been notified to the WTO
The European Union has notified the WTO the amendments of its draft Regulation on April 24th, 2018, “draft Commission Regulation amending Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cosmetic products”. The amendments notified concern the ban on the use of sodium o-phenylphenate, potassium o-phenylphenate and MEA o-phenylphenate as preservatives.
The notification procedure to the WTO members is established by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), administered by the World Trade Organization. The main aim of such agreement is to prevent the creation of unnecessary technical barriers to trade. To achieve its aim, the Agreement provides for the possibility for the parties to the Treaty to be informed of the new regulations and procedures before they are adopted. When a piece of technical legislation that could potentially contain barriers to trade is being discussed, it is possible to submit in its draft form to the WTO members for discussion. Based on such Agreement, since the restriction of the use of some substances could constitute a technical barrier to trade, the European Union notified the Draft Regulation.
Annex V of the Regulation lists the preservatives that can be used in cosmetic products. The draft Regulation amending Annex V comes as the result of a public consultation opened by the European Commission on April 12th, 2017 and that lasted up to July 7th. The consultation dealt with proposals to ban or restrict substances regulated under the Cosmetic Products Regulation. Following a previous opinion already released in 2015 from the Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), DG Grow proposed the restriction of the use of o-phenylphenol as a preservative in leave-on cosmetic products to a maximum concentration of 0.15% (Annex V), the ban on the use of sodium o-phenylphenate, potassium o-phenylphenate and MEA o-phenylphenate as preservatives in cosmetic products (Annex V); and the ban on the use of sodium o-phenylphenate, potassium o-phenylphenate and MEA o-phenylphenate as non-preservatives (Annex II, Annex III).
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