This advice is directly targeted to current distributors of cosmetic products between the UK and the EU. Post-Brexit, and in particular if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK will no longer be part of the single market meaning that goods will stop moving freely between both sides of the Channel. Therefore, UK distributors currently introducing products into the UK from the EU will become importers, as will EU distributors introducing products into the EU from the UK; this is because they will be moving goods across the new border between the EU and a third country (the UK post-Brexit). This will also apply to retailers undertaking these activities.
Article 4(5) of the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation and Article 4(5) of the ‘no deal’ Brexit UK Cosmetics Regulation automatically identify importers as the Responsible Person for cosmetic products imported into the EU and the UK respectively. This means that each importer of cosmetic products on either side of the Channel will be the legal entity responsible for compliance of that cosmetic product for that specific market. In practice it could be difficult to achieve, as this would include all obligations highlighted in Article 5 of both the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation and the ‘no deal’ Brexit UK Cosmetics Regulation, including granting access to the importer to the Product Information File (PIF) and having the name and address on product label.
Where imported products already have a designated EU27 RP or UK RP to respectively meet the regulatory requirements of both markets (whose name and address would be on pack), an available solution is for the importer to mandate that EU27 or UK RP. A mandate is a transfer of legal responsibility that has to be offered and accepted: the importer shall mandate in writing the RP already designated for those imported products, who shall then also accept in writing.
However, where imported products do not already have a designated EU27 RP or UK RP to respectively meet the regulatory requirements of both markets, the importer has to decide and agree with their customer whether to take on that responsibility or ensure that the customer has a contingency plan in place.
For any further help, please consult the CTPA Brexit public page.
NB: Only a UK-based company or individual can mandate a UK RP, and only an EU27-based company or individual can mandate an EU27 RP.