A guide into stress-free product compliance

Brexit vs Cosmetics

Disclaimer: This document provides guidance and is not a legally binding interpretation and shall therefore not be relied upon as legal advice.

Changes between the EU- and the UK Cosmetics Regulation

The UK Cosmetics Regulation is applicable to cosmetics products sold in England, Scotland and Wales. Cosmetics products placed on the market in Northern Ireland are still covered by the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. The structure of the EU Cosmetics Regulation is retained in the UK Cosmetics Regulation. There are a few differences between these two regulations. The major changes between the EU Cosmetics Regulation and the UK Cosmetics Regulation are concerning the responsible person, the product labelling, the country of origin and cosmetic product notification. The British government has made guidance available for placing cosmetics on the UK market.

The responsible person

For each cosmetic product that will be placed on the UK market, a responsible person must be appointed. This responsible person must be established within the UK. This also applies to Northern Ireland businesses who want to do business in England, Wales or Scotland. The appointed responsible person in the UK is responsible for ensuring compliance with the UK Cosmetics Regulation.

Product labelling versus the responsible person

Cosmetics placed on the UK market must bear the name and address of the Scottish, Welsh or English responsible person. There is a transitional arrangement between the EU and the UK until December 31, 2022.  As long the cosmetics are complying with the EU Cosmetics Regulation the cosmetic product may bear the name and address of the EU or EEA responsible person during the transition period. Cosmetics placed on the Northern Ireland market must bear the name and address of the Northern Ireland or EU/EEA-based responsible person.

Product labelling versus the country of origin

The country of origin must be mentioned on the cosmetics label. If a product is made in the EU the specific member state must be mentioned on the cosmetic label. “Made in the EU” is not allowed. The EU Cosmetics Regulation requires “made in” for manufacturers outside the EU. This means that cosmetics manufactured in the UK must be labelled “Made in UK” if they are sold on the EU market.

Cosmetic product notification

Cosmetics placed on the Scottish, Welsh and English markets must be notified to the office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS). The British government has made guidance how to submit a cosmetic product to the OPSS. The European Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP) is no longer available for the UK market.


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