A Comprehensive Guide to EU Cosmetics Regulations – 2024

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A Comprehensive Guide to EU Cosmetics Regulations

Do you want your beauty brand to be sold in Europe? Europe is a huge market, but there is one important set of rules you need to know: the EU Cosmetics Regulation. It’s a set of rules that make sure all of Europe’s beauty goods are safe. It’s kind of like a quality check! You show that you care about safety by following these rules. This makes clients in Europe believe in the brand more, and they love brands that put safety first. By following these rules, you can get into this huge market and set your brand up for success.

Ensuring Cosmetic Product Safety

Looking good shouldn’t come at the expense of safety. The EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 places a strong emphasis on ensuring cosmetic products are safe for consumers. This includes strict requirements for safety assessments, product testing, and the importance of safety data in achieving compliance.

The European Union Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009

(EC) No. 1223/2009

The EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 is very important to know if you want to work in the cosmetics industry in the EU. This rule is the most important thing that makes sure that cosmetics sold in Europe are safe and of good quality.

Key Regulations Governing Cosmetics in the EU

Before Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009, the EU had a number of different directives that controlled cosmetics. This rule streamlined and merged these directives, making a single framework that covers everything. Here are some of the most important things it talks about:


The rule puts the safety of consumers first. It sets strict rules for what goes into products, how they are made, and how safe they are.

Product Information

Consumers must be able to see important information like nutrients, expiration dates, and possible allergens on labels that are clearly marked.

Manufacturing Processes

The rule spells out Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that companies that make cosmetics must follow.

Marketing and Advertising

Cosmetics must only make claims that are true and don’t confuse people.

Post-Market Surveillance

Once cosmetics hit the market, there are steps in place to keep an eye on them.

Scope and Objectives of the EU Cosmetics Regulation

The EU Cosmetics Regulation aims to do two things:

Creating an Internal Market

The law aims to make it easier for safe cosmetics to move freely within the European Union by bringing together rules from all EU member states.

Ensuring High Levels of Consumer Protection

The main goal of the law is to protect the health of consumers. It sets high standards for safety and makes sure people know a lot about the goods they buy.

It’s important to know about the EU Cosmetics Regulation whether you’re a manufacturer, a retailer, or just a curious customer. If cosmetics are going to be sold in the EU, producers have to follow these rules. Stores should make sure that the goods they sell follow the rules. People can feel good about buying cosmetics in the EU because they are carefully inspected for safety and have clear labels.

Safety Assessment Requirements

Safety Assessment Requirements

The EU Cosmetics Regulation sets out a process that all cosmetics sold in the EU must go through to make sure they are safe. A trained safety assessor must look at a number of things during this evaluation, such as:

Product Ingredients

Every product needs to be carefully looked at for any possible risks. This includes checking for allergies, skin irritations, and other bad effects.

Product Composition

The inspector looks at how the different ingredients work together and how that might affect safety.


Potential risks are evaluated by looking at what the product is meant to be used for and how it is to be used.

Target Audience

During the safety review, the product’s suitability for a certain group of people, like kids or people with sensitive skin, is looked at.

The Importance of Product Testing and Safety Data

Effective product testing and safety records are very important for safety assessments. Here’s why these things are so important:

Demonstrating Safety

Safety data, which comes from different testing methods, is scientific proof that the object is safe for the purpose it was made for.

Identifying Potential Issues

Testing can help find safety issues that weren’t expected before the product gets to customers.

Substantiating Claims

When a product is said to be safe or hypoallergenic, safety data is very important to back up those statements.

The EU’s plan to make sure cosmetics are safe is based on strict testing, standards for safety assessments, and a focus on safety data. Manufacturers can help make the cosmetics business in the European Union safe and successful by following these rules.

Ingredient Restrictions and Prohibited Substances

The rule divides ingredients used in cosmetics into three groups:

AllowedSafe for use in cosmetics with general safety compliance
RestrictedPermitted under specific conditions (concentration limits, labeling, warnings)
ProhibitedCompletely banned due to safety hazards

Understanding the Annexes: Your Key to Compliance

The EU Cosmetics Regulation uses Annexes to provide a detailed roadmap for navigating ingredient restrictions and bans. Here are some key Annexes to be familiar with:


A Dynamic Landscape: Staying Informed

The rules about ingredients are always changing because new science information comes out. The EU updates its Annexes often to keep up with these changes. Manufacturers and people who work in the cosmetics business need to know about these changes to make sure they keep up with the rules. 

Finding Reliable Resources

For comprehensive information on ingredient restrictions and the relevant Annexes, you can consult the following resources:

The EU Cosmetics Regulation and its Annexes list rules and limits that you should know about to make sure your cosmetics are safe and legal for the European market. This will make you feel safe and let you join the EU cosmetics business with a clear head.

Cosmetics Labeling Guide

Labels must be clear and full of useful information for cosmetics to be sold in the European Union. The EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 tells companies what they need to do when they label their products. Let’s look more closely at these duties and the most important things that a cosmetics label and package must have in order to be legal.

The Product Information File (PIF)

Making sure that cosmetics are safe and of good quality is a big part of the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009. The Product Information File (PIF) is an important tool for showing that these rules are being followed. Let’s talk about what the PIF is and why it’s important.

Importance of the PIF

The PIF is a summary of all the safety data about a cosmetic product. It’s where all the proof that a product follows the EU Cosmetics Regulation can be found. This is why the PIF is important:

Facilitates Market Access

For cosmetics to be sold in the EU, it needs to have a full and correct PIF. Authorities who are qualified can ask to see the PIF to confirm the safety assessment of the goods.

Transparency and Traceability

Transparency is improved by the PIF, which keeps a clear record of the product’s safety and development statistics. It also makes it possible to find products in case they need to be recalled or there are safety issues.

Ongoing Compliance

There are changes to the PIF all the time. During the lifecycle of a product, manufacturers should keep it up to date with any changes to the ingredients, the way the product is made, or the safety ratings. 

Contents and Requirements for a Comprehensive PIF

The specific contents of a PIF may vary depending on the product, but generally it should include the following:

Product DescriptionA detailed description of the cosmetic product, including its function (e.g., moisturizer, sunscreen), target audience (e.g., children, sensitive skin), and intended use (e.g., daily application, sun protection).
Cosmetic Safety Assessment ReportThis report details the safety assessment conducted by a qualified safety assessor. It evaluates potential risks associated with ingredients, product composition, and exposure.
Manufacturing Process DescriptionA description of the manufacturing process, including the raw materials used, the equipment involved, and the quality control measures in place to ensure product consistency and safety.
Labeling and Packaging InformationCopies of the product label and packaging design. The label must include mandatory information like ingredients, warnings, and responsible person details.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for IngredientsSafety data sheets for all the ingredients used in the product. These sheets provide information on the hazards associated with each ingredient and how to handle them safely.

Maintaining the PIF

In the EU, the Responsible Person is in charge of keeping the PIF up to date and making sure that it can be inspected by the right officials for at least 10 years after the last batch of products goes on sale.

By making and keeping up with a full PIF, cosmetics makers can show they care about product safety and make the process of putting their goods on the EU market easier.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Compliance

Good Manufacturing Practices

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are emphasized in the EU cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 at all stages of the cosmetics production process. GMP sets up a set of rules that make sure that safe, high-quality cosmetics are always made the same way. Let’s look at the most important parts of GMP compliance and how following these rules protects the quality and safety of products.

Overview of GMP Requirements for Cosmetics Manufacturing

There aren’t clear rules about GMP for cosmetics like there are for drugs, but the EU Cosmetics Regulation does say what kind of clean and healthy manufacturing practices are expected. Following GMP guidelines shows that a company cares about quality and lowers the risks of pollution, mistakes, or lack of consistency.

Here’s a breakdown of some key GMP aspects:

Premises and EquipmentWell-maintained, clean facilities designed to prevent contamination.Suitable, calibrated, and maintained equipment.
PersonnelTrained personnel following GMP principles and hygienic practices to minimize contamination risks.
DocumentationClear and comprehensive documentation for all aspects:Raw materials – Production procedures – Quality control measures
Quality ControlRobust procedures implemented throughout the process to ensure:Product consistency – Compliance with specifications

Implementing GMP Principles to Ensure Product Safety and Quality

By adhering to GMP principles, manufacturers can create a production environment that fosters:

Product Safety

GMP minimizes the risk of contamination, errors, and product inconsistencies, ultimately contributing to safer cosmetics for consumers.

Product Quality

GMP promotes consistent product quality by ensuring all aspects of the manufacturing process are controlled and documented.

Consumer Confidence

Implementing GMP demonstrates a manufacturer’s commitment to quality and safety, fostering consumer trust in their cosmetic products.

ISO 22716

ISO 22716 is a specific international standard that outlines the requirements for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the cosmetics industry. It provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for:


Ensuring proper production processes are in place to minimize contamination and maintain consistent quality.

Quality Management

Implementing a robust quality management system to oversee all aspects of production.


Guaranteeing personnel are trained and qualified to follow GMP principles.


Maintaining clear and detailed documentation of all processes and procedures.

When it comes to product quality, you can rest assured. Our commitment to GMP compliance and ISO 22716 certification guarantees that every product we manufacture adheres to the highest safety and quality standards.

The Role of the Responsible Person (RP)

The Role of the Responsible Person

The EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 says that the Responsible Person (RP) is in charge of making sure that cosmetics sold in the EU are safe and follow the rules. Let’s talk about what an RP is and what they do, as well as how to choose and hire one for your cosmetics brand.

Definition of the Responsible Person

The RP is a legal or natural person in the EU who is responsible for making sure that a cosmetic product follows the rules set by the EU Cosmetics Regulation. The person in this role is the main point of contact for the relevant agencies in the EU member states.

Responsibilities of the Responsible Person

During the whole lifetime of a cosmetic product, the RP is responsible for a lot of things. Here are some important tasks:

Ensuring Product Safety

The RP is accountable for verifying that the cosmetic product undergoes a safety assessment and that it complies with all relevant safety requirements of the regulation.

Maintaining the Product Information File (PIF)

The RP is responsible for creating, maintaining, and keeping the PIF readily accessible for inspection by the competent authorities.

Product Labeling and Claims

The RP ensures the product labeling adheres to the regulation’s requirements and that any claims made about the product are substantiated.

Notification in Case of Serious Undesirable Effects

The RP is obligated to notify the competent authorities if they become aware of serious undesirable effects associated with the product.

Product Recall Management

In the event of a product recall, the RP plays a crucial role in coordinating the withdrawal of the product from the market.

Selecting and Appointing an RP for Your Cosmetic Brand

Since the RP assumes significant legal responsibility, selecting the right person or entity is crucial. Here are some factors to consider when appointing an RP:

ExpertiseThorough understanding of the EU Cosmetics Regulation and extensive experience in the cosmetics industry
LocationEstablished within the EU for effective communication with competent authorities
ReputationSolid reputation for professionalism, reliability, and commitment to product safety
Services OfferedServices aligned with your brand’s needs (e.g., PIF management, regulatory compliance support)

Cosmetic brands can feel more confident when dealing with EU regulations and make sure their goods meet the high safety standards set by the EU if they carefully choose a qualified and experienced RP.

Registering Skincare Products in the CPNP (Cosmetic Products Notification Portal)

The EU prioritizes consumer safety in the ever-evolving world of skincare. To ensure compliance with the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009, all cosmetic products, including the latest trends, must be registered through the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP).

Understanding the CPNP and Its Role

The CPNP is a free online portal established by the European Commission. It serves as a central hub for notifying competent authorities within the EU about cosmetic products entering the market. This notification process contributes to:

Consumer Protection

The CPNP ensures transparency by providing authorities with information about cosmetic products, facilitating market surveillance and safeguarding consumer safety.

Poison Center Access

The CPNP makes information on cosmetic ingredients readily available to poison centers in case of accidental ingestion or product misuse.

Market Analysis

The CPNP is a powerful tool for tracking beauty industry trends. It allows authorities to monitor the evolving landscape, from clean beauty movements to the rise of personalized skincare, while ensuring the safety of these emerging trends.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Registering Skincare Products in the CPNP

Tips on

here’s a breakdown of the key steps involved in registering your skincare products in the CPNP to start a skincare business:

  1. Creating an Account and Accessing the Portal:

– Visit the CPNP portal: https://single-market-economy.ec.europa.eu/sectors/cosmetics/cosmetic-product-notification-portal_en.

– Click on “Register” to create a user account. You will need to provide your company information and contact details.

– Once registered, log in to the portal using your credentials.

  1. Providing Product Information and Completing the Notification Process:

– The CPNP will guide you through a series of steps to provide detailed information about your skincare product, including:

  • Product name and description
  • Ingredients list
  • Label information (including warnings and claims)
  • Responsible Person details
  • Contact details of a distributor (if applicable)

Carefully review and confirm all entered information before submitting the notification.

  1. Uploading Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSRs) When Required:

– For certain high-risk products (e.ꜱ., sunscreens, products with specific claims), a Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CSPR) prepared by a qualified safety assessor may be required.

– If a CSPR is necessary, upload it to the CPNP portal as part of the notification process.

Common Challenges and Tips for Successful CPNP Registration

Accuracy of Information

Ensure all product information entered into the CPNP is accurate, complete, and up-to-date.


While the CPNP interface is available in multiple languages, the product information itself must be in a language easily understood by consumers in the target market.

Technical Issues

Occasionally, technical glitches might occur during the registration process. Be prepared to troubleshoot or contact CPNP support for assistance.

Maintaining Compliance and Updating Product Information

  • The Responsible Person is accountable for ensuring the accuracy of product information in the CPNP throughout the product’s lifecycle.
  • Any changes to the product’s formula, labeling, or Responsible Person details must be reflected in an updated CPNP notification.

By following these steps and being ready for possible problems, you can quickly get through the CPNP registration process and make sure that your skin care goods follow EU rules. Remember that keeping the CPNP’s information correct and up to date is very important for ongoing compliance.

Selling Cosmetic Products Online in Europe

Selling Cosmetic Products Online in Europe

The European Union (EU) has strict rules about cosmetics to protect consumers and make sure the quality of the products. Here are the most important things to think about if you want to sell cosmetics online in Europe:

eCommerce Regulations and Requirements for Selling Cosmetics in the EU

EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009

All cosmetics sold in the EU must follow the rules set out in this law. It talks about things like:

Product SafetyIngredients, manufacturing processes, and labelling must comply with specific safety requirements outlined in EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009.
Responsible PersonA designated person within the EU who acts as the legal point of contact for regulatory authorities.
Product Information File (PIF)A comprehensive file containing detailed information about the cosmetic product, including its formula, safety assessment, and manufacturing details.
Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP)Online portal for notifying relevant authorities about the cosmetic product before placing it on the EU market.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

Even though GMP rules aren’t required for cosmetics like they are for drugs, following them shows that you care about quality and lowers the chance of contamination.

National Regulations

It’s possible that some EU member states have their own rules about cosmetics. It’s very important to find out what the countries you want to sell to demand.

Cross-Border Sales Considerations and Compliance Obligations

Free Movement of Goods

The EU principle of free movement of goods allows you to sell cosmetics throughout the EU once you comply with regulations in one member state.

Distance Selling Regulations

EU Distance Selling Regulations apply to online sales. These regulations outline consumer rights such as withdrawal rights and information disclosure.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

Depending on your sales volume and location, you might need to register for VAT in different EU countries.

Product Labeling

Ensure your product labels comply with EU regulations. This includes information in a specific language (usually the language of the destination country) about ingredients, warnings, and responsible person details.

Selling on Amazon

Amazon is a major online marketplace in Europe, offering a large potential customer base. To sell cosmetics on Amazon EU, you’ll need to comply with all the above regulations and requirements. Additionally, Amazon has its own guidelines for product listings, labeling, and storage. Be sure to familiarize yourself with Amazon’s seller policies specific to the beauty and personal care category.

By understanding and complying with these regulations and requirements, you can successfully navigate the European market and sell your cosmetic products online with confidence.

Private Labeling for the EU Cosmetics Market

European Union Cosmetics Regulation

Private labeling offers a compelling alternative for businesses looking to enter the EU cosmetics market. Here’s a breakdown of the concept, its benefits, and the key aspects to consider:

Exploring the Concept and Benefits of Private Labeling in Cosmetics

Private labeling involves contracting a manufacturer to produce a cosmetic product according to your specifications. You essentially “brand” the finished product with your own label and design. This approach offers several benefits:

Faster Market Entry

By leveraging an existing manufacturer’s expertise and infrastructure, you can launch your cosmetic line quicker than developing products from scratch.

Reduced Investment Costs

You don’t need to invest in manufacturing equipment, facilities, or formulation development.

Lower Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs)

Manufacturers often have lower MOQs for private label products compared to developing entirely new formulas.

Flexibility and Customization

You can customize existing formulas, packaging, and branding to match your target market and brand identity.

Steps Involved in Private Labeling, Including Product Selection and Customization

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Partner Selection

Find a reputable manufacturer with experience in private labeling and EU compliance, you could find them either online or by visiting beauty trade shows to get what you are looking for. They should be able to guide you and customize products to fit your vision.

Product Development

Collaborate with the manufacturer to choose a base product and customize it, including ingredients (following regulations), fragrance, color, and packaging design.


Ensure your label complies with EU regulations, displaying information in the target market’s language(s).

Quality Assurance

Work with the manufacturer to establish quality control procedures throughout production.

By partnering with a reputable manufacturer and adhering to these compliance considerations, you can successfully utilize private labeling to launch your own cosmetic line in the EU market.

Attending beauty shows to find cosmetics manufacturers


Happy Woman with product

To sell cosmetics in the EU, you need to know about the strict rules that are in place to protect consumers. For online sales or private marking, it’s important to follow the rules set by the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Private labeling lets you get into the market faster and gives you more control, but remember that you’re still responsible. You can easily launch your EU cosmetic line and attract a large market if you plan it well, care about quality, and follow the rules.


The EU puts safety first by having tighter rules (EU Cosmetics Regulation). They need more information up front (Product Information File) and a local point of contact (Responsible Person) than the US, which focuses on safety after the product has been sold (FDA).

Yes, but you’ll have to follow EU rules. This includes things like making sure the product is safe, labeling it in the language of the target market, and choosing a Responsible Person in the EU.

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