Brussels, 9 July 2007
Consumers will benefit from a new clearer labelling regime on sunscreen bottles being phased in this summer. The new labels - including a new UV-A logo or seal on bottles and a ban on misleading terms such as "sunblocker" or "total protection" - are a response to a Commission recommendation on sunscreen products adopted in September 2006. As well as explaining the new sunscreen labelling system, the Commission, through an information campaign in partnership with Member States is seeking to raise awareness that there are several reasons why sunscreen products should be only one out of a number of measures which are necessary to protect from the UV radiation of the sun. The improved labelling regime is being phased in and will appear on 20% of sunscreen bottles this summer.
Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said: “Consumers need clear, accurate information on sunscreen products so they can make informed choices. We need to reinforce the essential message that sunscreen is only one of a number of measures that are necessary for effective protection against the sun." Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said ""When applied properly, sunscreens can help to protect against skin cancer, but alone they are not enough. Other sensible precautions include avoiding long periods of exposure, staying in the shade at peak hours and protecting yourself with a hat and sunglasses."
The improved labelling
The Commission's campaign presents forthcoming improvements of the labelling of sunscreen products as called for in a Commission recommendation in September 2006 on the efficacy and claims of sunscreen products. Under the recommendation:
Facts about the sunscreen industry
What should consumers know this summer?
The improved labelling regime will start to become “visible” on the market in summer 2007. At the same time, consumers are advised to use sunscreen products only as one out of many measures to protect against the sun. Other measures include:
The awareness campaign
The campaign will be run by the Commission and national partners to the voluntary agreement in different member states over the next year -using websites, the press, posters, partnerships with tour operators and advertising. Facts about the sunscreen industry:
The EU is a major and growing market for sunscreens. In 2005, the estimated retail value (retail sales price) of sunscreen products in Europe was over € 1.3 billion. There was a slight increase in sales in the EU in 2006. The EU sunscreen market is dominated by European companies: in the top ten suppliers in the EU, there are only three non-European companies whose market share amounts to roughly 10%.
Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED