Cosmetic claims and labelling under scrutiny

Compliance of claims and labelling of cosmetic products are under scrutiny – according to the recent market reports, there are far too many cosmetic products released on the market that do not comply with the EU legislation on this matter.

Concerning reports

In December 2016, a complaint was raised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding the new Rimmel’s mascara; ASA’s ruling stated that the campaign for ‘Scandal eyes Reloaded’ mascara featuring Cara Delevingne used inserts and airbrushing to exaggerate effects.

On the 8th February 2017, the French Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and the Prevention of Fraud (DGCCRF) has released a report stating that labelling claims in the country for cosmetics are ‘poorly controlled’.

The Soil Association’s recent organic market report shows misleading claims of “green” or “organic” on beauty products that are in fact not certified as organic at all – certification received from authorized bodies, such as ECOCERT or COSMOS.

Supporting EU Legislation

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that without a rigorous knowledge and application of the EU legislation in this matter, the consumer will inevitably be ‘tricked’ by these claims.

According to the Commission Implementing Decision 2013/674/EU of 25 November 2013 , Annex, 3. PART A — COSMETIC PRODUCT SAFETY INFORMATION, art. 3.5:  “the warnings and other explanations on the labelling should be consistent with the identified normal and reasonably foreseeable use, and the reasoning justifying their inclusion is to be given. A clear explanation of the normal intended use and the reasonably foreseeable use should be provided.” This means that the intention of use of a product needs to be expressly specified in the description of the product.

Additionally, according to the EU legislation, respectively the Commission Regulation (EU) No 655/2013 of 10 July 2013, Annex, pct. 1.3 (and following), it is stated that : “Presentations of a product’s performance shall not go beyond the available supporting evidence.

This means that the claim made regarding the function of use and description of the product needs to be supported by a clear evidence to prove that the product exerts the claimed specific function.

Assuring a safer market

To conclude, there always needs to be a clear legal foundation on which the cosmetic claims  need to be based on. How often and how accurate they are applied on, however, still remains a concern – one that at least Obelis strives to obliterate.

If you wish to know more about permitted Cosmetics claims and labelling, please do not hesitate to contact us. Obelis Expert Consultants, having nearly 30 years of experience with EU Regulations, will gladly answer any question you may have and will gladly assist you in safeguarding your products’ compliance.

Suzana Horia

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