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Borderline products

In practice, it may sometimes be unclear whether a product is a cosmetic product in the sense of the Cosmetics Directive or whether it falls under other sectoral legislation. This decision is to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

However, the Commission has published a number of guidance documents to facilitate the application of Community-legislation in these cases. These include a "manual" on the application of Art. 1 Cosmetics Directive, i.e. the definition of "cosmetic product" (see below) and various guidelines on the borderline other sectoral legislations.

Please note, however, that only the text of the Directives is authentic in law. The text of the Directives is applicable where there are differences between the provisions of a directive and the contents of these guidance documents. The interpretation of Community law is ultimately the responsibility and privilege of the European Court of Justice. The analysis set out in these guidance documents 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.

Manual on the scope of application of the Cosmetics Regulation (EC) NO 1223/2009 (Art. 2(1)(a)) (Version 1, November 2013)pdf(148 kB)

Guidance documents on "borderline products":