Cosmetics Regulations in the US and EU

Cosmetics Regulations are a hot topic for the US and EU. This is because the US and the European Union (EU) are the two largest markets for cosmetics. Together, these two markets produce and market literally billions of cosmetic and personal care products across their markets. Since these cosmetics are so widely used by large sections of the huge population - together these two markets account for well over 800 million people - it is imperative for these products to be safe. As a result, safety is the highest priority and requirement for cosmetics regulations in the EU and the US.

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Cosmetics regulation in the US

The cosmetics market is regulated by the provisions of the FDA. The fact that the FDA came into existence from the US Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FD & C Act) is indicative of the high level of importance given to the regulation of cosmetics in the US, implying that cosmetics are bracketed along with food and drugs. The core underlying principles of cosmetics regulation rests on these requirements:

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In the process of ensuring that the product goes out to the market after passing through the stringent regulatory requirements; businesses of these products hire thousands of professionals, ranging from biologists, oncologists, environment scientists, chemists, and toxicologists work on these products to ensure their safety standards set out in these Cosmetics Regulations.

Cosmetics Regulations in the EU

The first major law that the EU had in relation to Cosmetics Regulations was in 1976. This was replaced by the one of 2009, which in turn gave way to the regulation of 2013. The revision of 2013, formally called The EU Regulation 1223/2009, is the current law on Cosmetics Regulations in the EU. Most of the changes brought about to Cosmetics Regulations in the EU of 2013 relate to the regulatory, administrative and documentation aspects. For the first time in its history, Cosmetics Regulations of the EU are governed by a single, unified legislation that applies to the entire EU. All member states of the European Union are governed by this single law.

Highlights of the 2013 legislation on Cosmetics Regulations

The most important change that happened as a result of the 2013 legislation on Cosmetics Regulations is that all the over 500 million consumers of cosmetic products in the various markets of the EU will be governed and protected equally by a single law.

  • Notification of new cosmetic products is to be done through a single mechanism called the EU Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP)
  • The law of 2013 eases the method of enforcement of EU laws on Cosmetics Regulations
  • It increases the responsibility of manufacturers of cosmetics across the EU
  • The law of 2013 makes reporting of violations a lot easier and makes violations a lot more expensive
  • There are now new rules regarding nanomaterials in cosmetics
  • EU Regulation 1223/2009 on Cosmetics Regulations authorizes the appointment of a "Responsible Person" who is designated by the EU to oversee every cosmetic producing and marketing organization, and with whom the organization has to interact for ensuring that it meets the criteria set out for Cosmetics Regulations.