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Frequently asked questions


Which process must a cosmetic product follow to be placed on the EU market?

The Cosmetics Directive is the main regulatory framework for the placing of cosmetic products on the Community market according to which no pre-market authorization is required to put cosmetics on the European market. However, the manufacturer or importer has to ensure the safety of the cosmetic product placed on the Community market. To this end, a "safety-file" which includes inter alia an assessment of the safety of the product for human health has to be kept readily accessible for control purposes to the competent authorities concerned. In addition, each product has to be notified to the competent authority in the Member State where the product is manufactured or first imported (cf. Art. 7a Cosmetics Directive).

Moreover, the Cosmetics Directive contains in particular lists of substances which are either prohibited (Annex II) or subject to other restrictions, for example concentration limits (Annex III). The Cosmetics Directive contains also so-called "positive lists" indicating that only substances listed in Annex IV (colorants), Annex VI (preservatives), and in Annex VII (UV-filters) can be used in cosmetics.

Which requirements must a cosmetic product meet with regard to animal testing?
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Last update: 13/07/2010 | Top