Cosmetic Products

Introduction to Cosmetics in the EU Market

The EU Market is the largest and most desired export market in the world for cosmetic and personal care products. In 2017 alone, personal care product sales accounted for 77.7 billion euros.

Varying legislation globally and misinformation from poorly informed distributors/importers can often lead to well-meaning Brand Owners taking unnecessary risks by making products available on the EU market before having effectively gained EU Compliance with the support a professional EU Responsible Person.

EU Cosmetic Product Legislation

Until the publication of the Cosmetic Regulation EC 1223/2009 on November 30, 2009 and the subsequent 3 year transition period, the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC was the reigning legal framework for cosmetic products.

From July 11, 2013, the Cosmetic Regulation EC 1223/2009 became fully applicable in the EU as the main legal framework for cosmetic products.


Key Facts:

  • Any product to made available in the EU Market (either through e-commerce or brick-and-mortar) must comply with the Cosmetic Regulation EC 1223/2009
  • Non-EU manufacturers wishing to make their products available to EU citizens must appoint an EU Responsible Person
  • Manufacturer is defined as:
any natural or legal person who manufactures a cosmetic product or has such a product designed or manufactured, and markets that cosmetic product under his name or trademark
  • Products which fail to comply may be subject to public notification (RAPEX), withdrawal requirements, warehousing fees, fines or total destruction of the products.

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