Did you know you now have to have an EU-based Responsible Person to sell cosmetic products in the EU, and a UK-based Responsible Person to sell cosmetic products in the UK? Product notifications must also be made in the correct market
What does Brexit say
Only cosmetic products with a designated Responsible Person (RP) can be placed on the market. The RP must ensure all the relevant obligations set out in the UK and EU Cosmetics Regulations are met, if cosmetics are sold in the GB market or the EU/NI markets respectively. To ensure traceability of all cosmetic products, before placing a new cosmetic product on the UK or EU markets, the RP must notify their details and specific information about the product to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS – for products placed on the GB market) or the EU Commission (for products placed on the EU and NI markets).
The RP may be an individual (a natural person) or a company (a legal person), must be located in GB (for cosmetics sold in the GB market) or within the EU/EEA or NI (for cosmetics sold in the EU and NI markets) and should have access to the Product Information File (PIF) which must include the Cosmetic Product Safety Report required under the UK and EU Cosmetics Regulations to demonstrate the product is safe to place on the market. The name and address of the RP is required on the product packaging.
What do we say
Companies wishing to continue to sell cosmetic products on the UK market from 1 January 2021 must take the following actions:
- Set up a UK RP
- Update the product label (primary and secondary packaging) with the UK RP name and address (Note: products with an EU address, but no UK address on pack can be made available on the UK market for 24 months after Exit Day)
- Update the product label with the country of origin, if made outside the UK
- Complete UK product notification via the UK notification
database (available from 1 January 2021). UK RPs will need to open
an account on the UK notification database.
- Existing products – any products already notified to the EU commission must be notified within 90 days from 1 January 2021 (i.e. 31 March 2021). Companies will have to download their existing notifications and upload them to the UK notification database.
- New products – a brand new notification is needed to the UK notification database.
- Translate the PIF into English (if required), which must be available to UK authorities at the UK RP address.
- Confirm the qualifications of your safety assessor. The safety assessor qualifications must be accepted in the UK.
- Check your supply chain for changes to roles and responsibilities. Current distributors will become importers under the UK Cosmetic Regulation and they will automatically take on the roles of RP. You need to ensure that your distributors will have a mandate in place with your new UK RP, to ensure the responsibility for your products is under your appointed legal entity.
- Plan for future changes in the compliance of product formulations. Ingredients restrictions/bans/assessments that have been published in the EU Official Journal up until 31 December 2020 will be automatically implemented into UK law. Assessment of ingredients published after 1 January 2021 will be carried out independently by the UK.
Helpfully, the EU Withdrawal Agreement states that goods placed on the EU27 or UK markets before the end of the transition period can be made available and circulate between the two markets until they reach the end consumer. Proof of when the goods were placed on the market will be required.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.