The laws

In the European Union (EU), the manufacture of cosmetics is governed by the EU Cosmetics Regulation ((EC) No. 1223/2009). 

The EU Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) and the UK Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations are repealed from 11 July 2013.





Note: The annexes to the Cosmetics Regulation document reflect the situation at the time of adoption of the proposal on 5 February 2008 and do not relfect the current situation.  Any updated entries can be found in subsequent amending Regulations (see above list).

EU Consolidated Text

A consolidated (reference only) text is available from the European Commission. 

  • Consolidated text (up to 25 December 2017) - does not include Regulations/Decisions published after this date





The EU Cosmetics Regulation is directly applicable in the UK.  In addition, the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations also apply. 



EU guidance

The European Commission has issued a number of guidance documents including:

  • guidelines  on the 'Period After Opening' requirement;
  • a recommendation establishing guidelines on the use of claims referring to the absence of tests on animals; and
  • a manual on 'borderline products'. 

These are available on the European Commission website for cosmetics.

For key points from the legislation see our guide 'Supplying or Manufacturing a Cosmetic Product'...