The rules and regulations

In the European Union (EU), the manufacture of cosmetics is governed by the EU Cosmetics Regulation((EC) No. 1223/2009).  This Regulation and its amendments are directly applicable in all 27 EU countries.  The previous EU Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) and the UK Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations are repealed from 11 July 2013.

The main purpose of the Cosmetics Regulation is human safety.  The laws apply to products intended for sale and those given away free, as this is considered to be a commerical enterprise. As always, ignorance of the law is no excuse and no defence; and the penalties for non-compliance can be severe with heavy fines and even periods of imprisonment options open to the courts. See also the section on enforcement.