Coronavirus response in relation to the production capacity of hand cleaners and hand disinfectants
Enhanced personal hygiene is one of the main ways to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus: the WHO recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or cleaning hands with alcohol-based solutions, gel being one of the main types.
Because of this, the use of hand cleaners and hand disinfectants (i.e. gels, hand wipes or other leave-on products) has increased dramatically in the EU. As a result, most EU countries experienced a general shortage of those products.
Economic operators of the cosmetic and of other sectors are increasing or converting their production capacity to address this shortage on the EU market.
The Coronavirus crisis guidance informs economic operators, including small and medium-sized enterprises, on the applicable legal framework of those products (i.e. the Cosmetic Products Regulation or the Biocidal Products Regulation) on the EU market and the claims which can be made to the user.
The European Commission has published guidance documents to facilitate the application of EU legislation in these cases. They include a manual on the scope of application of the Cosmetics Regulation and the various guidelines on the borderline between cosmetics legislation and other sectorial legislation.