Chemin de navigation

Left navigation

Additional tools

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE


Brussels, 12th January 2007

Commission moves on with simplification programme in the field of cosmetics

The European Commission has today launched a consultation round for stakeholders in the field of cosmetics, to come to a simplified and modern regulatory framework for the industry, which avoids unnecessary costs. This new framework should replace the existing EU Cosmetics Directive from 1976, which has become a “patchwork” of almost 50 amendments without coherent terminology. Moreover, many provisions appear in the wrong context and the detailed regulation of individual substances used for cosmetics has proven very complex, resource-intensive and difficult to administer. This renders compliance more onerous and costly than necessary for the industry, which is world leader in this field.. The consultation round will end in March this year and must lead to a new framework by 2010 at the latest. The existing provisions on the ban and phasing-out of animal-tests for cosmetic products by 2009/2013 are not going to be part of this exercise.

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policies, said: “We stick to our promise to reduce and simplify EU law. We want a modern legislation for cosmetics aiming at streamlining, simplifying and clarifying the multitude of current texts. The focus must be on reducing legislation and administrative costs considerably, but making it at the same time more efficient, without effecting public health and safety.”

The Cosmetics Directive sets the legal framework to ensure the safety of cosmetic products placed on the EU-market. In the past 30 years this Directive has been amended 48 times. This has rendered many provisions unclear or brought them into the wrong context.

Cosmetics are more than just luxury goods. Products of vital importance for the general health, like sunscreens, tooth paste and cleansing preparations are included as well. European companies are the world leader in this market which is growing steadily in the EU and worldwide.

If European companies are to continue to play the leading role in this sector, a more modern and efficient regulatory framework is required. Therefore, the Commission seeks the views of stakeholders, like the industry, consumer organisations and the academic world, on the following aspects:

  • How can administrative costs be reduced?
  • How can aspects of self-assessment and responsibility of the manufacturer be strengthened?
  • How can the high level of safety in cosmetics be maintained without unnecessary red tape?

For more information, please see the consultation document: EN, DE, FR


The European market for cosmetic products is worth approx. 65 billion EUR. There are well over 3000 cosmetics manufacturers in Europe, including a large number of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME's), directly and indirectly employing over 350.000 Europeans. While the growth rate in the EU has been moderate, important new markets are emerging: for example, the annual increase 2004/2005 of the Chinese market was almost 11% and is expected to continue with this pace.

Side Bar