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Better transparency about the composition and undesirable effects

Composition and undesirable effects of cosmetic products to be made easily accessible to the public by the practical implementation of article 7a(1)(h) 2nd paragraph of Council directive 76/768/EEC.

In 2003, Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products was amended. This modification introduced a new paragraph which entered into force in 2004, providing that the public can have access to certain information from cosmetic companies on request.

This increased transparency concerns:

  • composition of the cosmetic product;
  • undesirable effects that may have been reported to companies regarding products they produce.

In order to ensure that relevant stakeholders, i.e. Industry and Member States, have the same understanding regarding this new rule, guidelines on practical implementation of the new provisions pdf - 71 KB [71 KB] were drafted by Commission services in cooperation with these stakeholders.

On its part, Colipa, the European Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association, has set up a specific data base to facilitate public access to relevant information.

Please note, however, that only the text of a Directive is authentic in law. The text of a Directive is applicable where there are differences between the provisions of a directive and the contents of this guidance document. Furthermore, the interpretation of Community law is ultimately the responsibility and privilege of the European Court of Justice. The analysis set out in the guidance document does not in any way preclude a different interpretation by the European Court of Justice in a particular case, and does not in any way commit the European Commission.

Last update: 13/07/2010 | Top