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From January 1, 2021, the UK has its own cosmetics regulation to follow, Schedule 34 of The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, called the UK Cosmetics Regulation.

SAFEGUARDS | Cosmetics, Personal Care & HouseholdNO. 012/21

Mature woman applying mascara make up

The United Kingdom (UK) departed from the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020 with a Withdrawal Agreement. During the transition period, until December 31, 2020, EU law remains applicable in the UK. From January 1, 2021, the UK has its own cosmetics regulation to follow, Schedule 34 of The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, called the UK Cosmetics Regulation.

The UK Cosmetics Regulation is applicable to cosmetics products placed on the market in Great Britain (GB), which includes England, Scotland and Wales. Cosmetics products placed on the market in Northern Ireland are still covered by the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009.

There are no significant differences between the frameworks of the UK Cosmetics Regulation and the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Despite this, cosmetics companies shall clearly note and actively respond to the major changes for complying with the UK Cosmetics Regulation.

Major changes for complying with the UK Cosmetics Regulation
Responsible Person

To place a cosmetic product on the GB market, a responsible person must be established within the UK. This is also applicable to a Northern Ireland business placing a cosmetic product on the GB market under unfettered access. The responsible person in UK is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Regulation, including product safety and product notification.

If the responsible person placing a cosmetic product on the Northern Ireland (NI) market is based within EEA (European Economic Area), the Northern Ireland business will be the Responsible Person for placing the product on GB market.

Product Labeling – Responsible Person

Cosmetic products placed on the GB market shall be labeled with the name and address of a UK responsible person.

A transitional arrangement is granted until December 31, 2022 that, the name and address requirement are satisfied if it is compliant with the requirements in Article 19(1)(2) of the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. The name and address of a Responsible Person based in the EU/EEA is allowed during the transition period.

Cosmetic products placed on the NI market shall be labeled with name and address of a NI or EU based responsible person.

Product Labeling – Country of Origin

For all imported cosmetic products the country of origin must be labeled. If products are imported from the EU, the specific country where a product is manufactured shall be specified. ‘Made in the EU’ is not acceptable.

Notification

The UK government has set up the Submit Cosmetic Product Notification (SCPN) portal for notifying cosmetic products made available on the GB market. The SCPN service is available from January 01, 2021. All cosmetic products shall be notified to SCPN before placement on the GB market.

Cosmetic products for sale in the UK market before December 31, 2020 and continuing to be available from January 1, 2021, should be re-notified within 90 days of the end of the transition period.

It is crucial for all cosmetic, personal care and household products to be safe, effective and stable. SGS provides testing, inspection and certification services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. Our state-of-the-art laboratories offer tailored solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. We also have extensive capabilities in performance testing, claim support studies and consumer panels. Our testing is conducted according to customer specific or recognized standard methods, some of which were developed by SGS. Our cosmetic safety assessors and other technical experts can support customers by making sure new products comply with regulatory requirements. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website.

  1. The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (legislation.gov.uk)
  2. Regulation 2009/1223 and the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013: Great Britain (publishing.service.gov.uk)
  3. Regulation 2009/1223 and the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013: Northern Ireland (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Next Step

From January 1, 2021, the GB will not be covered by EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. A responsible person based in UK shall be identified for cosmetic products placed on the GB market. A transition period, until December 31, 2022 is granted for labeling products with information of a UK Responsible Person, provided that it fulfills the corresponding requirements in (EC) 1223/2009.

If the cosmetic products will be placed on the EU market, since the UK is no longer part of EU, you shall make sure that the responsible person (and hence the labeling information) is based within the 27 member states of EU.

For enquiries, please contact:

Queenie Ho-yan TSE
Assistant Technical Service Manager
t: +852 2765 3672

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