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Other applicable EU legislation - Overview

The Council Directive 76/768 of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products ("Cosmetics Directive") is the main regulatory framework for a finished cosmetic product as defined therein when placed on the Community market. However, apart from the Cosmetics Directive, other EU-legislation applies, some of which shall be listed below:

Important disclaimer

The information contained herein does in no way bind or commit the European Commission.

In particular:

  • this information refers only to the finished cosmetic product as defined in Art. 1 of the Cosmetics Directive. The list does not apply to the placing on the market of raw-materials and starting materials;
  • this information is of a general nature only and is not intended to address the specific circumstances;
  • this information is a non-exhaustive list of legal requirements, which is not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date;
  • the legal instruments listed here are mostly Directives, which are addressed to Member States who, in turn, transpose them into national law. It is therefore indispensable to also verify the national transposing laws;
  • it cannot be guaranteed that a document available on-line reproduces exactly an officially adopted text. Only European Union legislation published in paper editions of the Official Journal of the European Union is deemed authentic.

Permitted/restricted ingredients

The main regulatory instrument is Council Directive 76/768 of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products ("Cosmetics Directive"): Art. 2 of the Cosmetics Directive sets out as a general rule that "a cosmetic product put on the market within the Community must not cause damage to human health when applied under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, taking account, in particular, of the product's presentation, its labelling, any instructions for its use and disposal as well as any other indication or information provided by the manufacturer or his authorized agent or by any other person responsible for placing the product on the Community market." Moreover, the Cosmetics Directive specifically regulates some ingredients, including UV-Filters, preservatives and colorants in its annexes.

Moreover, in principle Council Directive 76/769/EEC

български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)
of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations applies. You may find more information on dangerous substances and preparation on the Chemicals website of the European Commission.

As regards ozone-depleting substances contained in aerosol products: Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000

български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 June 2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer. You may find more information on ozone on the Environment website of the European Commission.

Packaging and labelling

Last update: 13/07/2010 | Top