It is essential to ensure that your cosmetic products comply with the European Union (EU) labelling requirements. Correct labelling is an important part of a cosmetic product, as it helps to convey information about the product such as list of ingredients, its intended use, directions for use and any precautions to be observed. Incorrect cosmetic product labelling could lead to products being withdrawn from the market or recalled from end users.
The legislation that covers the labelling requirements in the EU is the Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 which lists very specific requirements for cosmetic product labelling on the EU market. In order to ensure that your products comply with the labelling requirements, you must observe the legal requirements as indicated in Article 19 of the Cosmetics Regulation. It provides that cosmetic products shall be made available on the market only where the container and packaging of cosmetic products bear the following information in indelible, easily legible and visible lettering:
It is important for manufacturers and distributors of cosmetic products to be aware of consequences of non-compliance. According to the RAPEX (the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System), which is a public list of dangerous products found across Europe, several cosmetic products have appeared in this system due to non-compliance related to product labelling. Products appearing in this list are subsequently withdrawn from the market, recalled from end users or their import is rejected at the border. Based on the market surveillance, non-compliance with cosmetic product labelling requirements is mainly the result of incomplete ingredient lists, misleading directions for use or inadequate instructions and warnings being stated on the label. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that cosmetic products are in line with the labelling requirements indicated in the Cosmetics Regulation.