Cosmetics Regulation Conflicts with the CLP Regulation

Substances that the CLP Regulation classifies as carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic (CMR) may, under certain conditions, still be contained in cosmetics. The EU Commission made that decision at the most recent meeting of the working group for cosmetics. The crux of the issue is that some requirements of the Cosmetics Regulation contradict requirements of the CLP Regulation. Accordingly, the EU Commission is working under pressure to harmonize the regulations.
The most recent issue is once again Article 15 of the Cosmetics Regulation. The article forbids use of CMR substances classified as Category 1 (proven carcinogenic effects in humans) and Category 2 (proven carcinogenic effects in animals; suspected effects in humans). However, exceptions exist, as the members of the group emphasized at their meeting. According to the exceptions, CMR substances of Category 2 can continue to be used in cosmetics when the members of the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) of the EU Commission consider them safe. Additional criteria apply to the use of substances of Category 1 (see Article 15).
Some countries, including Denmark, regard this interpretation as too broad. They demand a general prohibition of substances like the preservative polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB). Yet representatives of the cosmetics industry insist on the law currently in force and request that the EU Commission harmonize the contents of both regulations to create legal certainty for all concerned.
In his statement, the Commission made it clear that the CLP regulation does not replace the EU Cosmetics Regulation. A complete ban of cosmetics ingredients has to be established in the Annex of the Cosmetics Regulation.
Our services help ensure the chemical compliance and legal security of your products. Please contact us at We would also like to remind you of our seminar on European Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 (German only) on November 16.

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