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What is the Product Information (PIF)?

When we talk about placing a cosmetic product in the EU, there is one thing that should come to our minds almost immediately and that is the Product Information File, better known by the acronym PIF.

If you are asking yourself why, well, the EU Cosmetic Regulation is very clear about that:

"When a cosmetic product is placed on the market, the responsible person shall keep a product information file for it."

Article 11, Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009

Which means that there must be a PIF for each and all cosmetic products placed in the EU market. So, if you are still wondering what is the PIF and what kind of information it must contain, let’s go a little deeper.

The PIF is a technical dossier that gathers all necessary and relevant information and documentation available for each cosmetic product being sold, which may be retrieved from several players within the cosmetic product life cycle, from the raw materials suppliers to the safety assessor, who signs the Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR), the most important part of this dossier.

It is also noteworthy that the PIF is the intellectual property of the Responsible Person (or of other parties, depending on contractual arrangements), being, with no doubt, a key element for each cosmetic product marketed in the EU.

Although there is no standard structure for it, the PIF shall contain the following information:

It seems quite simple this way, but making a PIF involves a tremendous amount of work and a lot of time from the Responsible Persons, whom in addition to having to worry about the regulatory compliance, must also guarantee the quality of the documents and the reliability of the information about their cosmetic products. Not forgetting all the legal obligations surrounding the PIF, as well:

  • The PIF should be readily accessible to and in a language easily understood by the competent authority, which in many Member States will be English, and the single point of access to the PIF must be highlighted on the packaging;
  • The PIF should be kept up-to-date in view of changes in the product information and/or additional relevant information generated subsequent to placing the product on the market;
  • The PIF shall be kept for a period of ten years after the last batch of the cosmetic product was placed on the market.

From this perspective, it becomes evident that preparing and maintaining the PIF is a real challenge for cosmetic companies and a process very prone to data errors, inconsistencies and missing information. Fortunately, we live in an increasingly advanced digital society, full of innovative and high-quality tools ready to help us improve our work.

If you don’t know what we are talking about, you really have to try Cosmedesk!

With Cosmedesk, you can efficiently create, manage and keep all your cosmetic product data in one place and automatically generate the PIF with just one click, receiving alerts when required information or mandatory documents are missing and, also, benefiting from a version control feature. How nice is that?

Moreover, as a web-based regulatory software, Cosmedesk provides you full cloud-storage for this information, making it always accessible anytime, anywhere.

Don’t wait any longer and give it a try for free! Isn't it great when everything works fine? 😉

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