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How will the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability impact the Cosmetic Regulation?

The European Union (EU) Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) was published on 14 October 2020 as part of the EU’s zero pollution ambition, a key commitment of the European Green Deal. The Strategy aims to better protect human health and the environment as well as boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals, and brought an institutional commitment of the Commission to present a new legislative proposal to amend the Cosmetic Product Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, alongside with the revision of other chemicals legislation including the REACH Regulation and CLP Regulation.

On October 2021, the Commission published an Inception Impact Assessment kicking off the revision of the Cosmetic Products Regulation. In order to achieve the objectives of the CSS, the Commission is analysing the following policy options in addition to the baseline scenario of no policy change:

  • Extending the generic approach to risk management to ensure that cosmetics do not contain, firstly, chemicals that cause cancers, gene mutations, affect the reproductive or the endocrine system, or are persistent and bioaccumulative; secondly, chemicals affecting the immune, neurological or respiratory systems and chemicals toxic to a specific organ, including the analysis of various options such as the extension of the existing or modified provisions restricting CMRs (Article 15 of CPR) to further hazard classes, review the criteria and processes to decide on exceptions to bring them in line with the essential use concept currently developed under CSS, and introducing provisions to take account of combination effects.
  • To improve effectiveness, efficiency and coherence of safety assessments across EU legislation as well as to ensure the best use of expertise and resources in the Agencies, in line with the “One Substance, One Assessment” approach, tasks of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) on cosmetic ingredients could be reattributed to ECHA;
  • Reviewing the definition of nanomaterial to ensure coherent terminology across chemicals legislation;
  • Changing the way in which specific product label information is provided.

The overall objective of the revision is to ensure that the Cosmetic Products Regulation reflects the Commission’s ambitions on innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals and a high level of protection of health and the environment, while preserving the internal market, as provided for in the CSS.

A Public Consultation on the targeted revision of the Cosmetics Regulation is currently open to all stakeholders (experts and non-experts) until June 21, to gather information, views and experience on how the Cosmetics Product Regulation could be improved in order to ensure human health and the functioning of the internal market. A revision proposal is planned to be adopted in the fourth quarter of 2022.



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