According to Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, which is the main regulatory framework for finished cosmetic products when placed on the EU market, the cosmetic labeling requirements are as follows:
- cosmetic products shall be made available on the market only where the container and packaging of cosmetic products bear the following informationin indelible, easily legible and visible lettering:
(a) the name or registered name and the address of the responsible person. Such information may be abbreviated in so far as the abbreviation makes it possible to identify that person and his address. If several addresses are indicated, the one where the responsible person makes readily available the product information file shall be highlighted. The country of origin shall be specified for imported cosmetic products;
(b) the nominal content at the time of packaging, given by weight or by volume, except in the case of packaging containing less than five grams or five millilitres, free samples and single-application packs; for pre-packages normally sold as a number of items, for which details of weight or volume are not significant, the content need not be given provided the number of items appears on the packaging. This information need not be given if the number of items is easy to see from the outside or if the product is normally only sold individually;
(c) the date until which the cosmetic product, stored under appropriate conditions, will continue to fulfil its initial function.
The date itself or details of where it appears on the packaging shall be preceded by the symbol shown in point 3 of Annex VII or the words: ‘best used before the end of’.
The date of minimum durability shall be clearly expressed and shall consist of either the month and year or the day, month and year, in that order. If necessary, this information shall be supplemented by an indication of the conditions which must be satisfied to guarantee the stated durability.
Indication of the date of minimum durability shall not be mandatory for cosmetic products with a minimum durability of more than 30 months. For such products, there shall be an indication of the period of time after opening for which the product is safe and can be used without any harm to the consumer. This information shall be indicated, except where the concept of durability after opening is not relevant, by the symbol shown in point 2 of Annex VII followed by the period (in months and/or years);
(d) particular precautions to be observed in use, and at least those listed in Annexes III to VI and any special precautionary information on cosmetic products for professional use;
(e) the batch number of manufacture or the reference for identifying the cosmetic product. Where this is impossible for practical reasons because the cosmetic products are too small, such information need appear only on the packaging;
(f) the function of the cosmetic product, unless it is clear from its presentation;
(g) a list of ingredients. This information may be indicated on the packaging alone. The list shall be preceded by the term ‘ingredients’.
For the purpose of this Article, an ingredient means any substance or mixture intentionally used in the cosmetic product during the process of manufacturing.
- Where it is impossible for practical reasons to label the information mentioned in points (d) and (g) of paragraph 1 as provided, the following applies:
— the information shall be mentioned on an enclosed or attached leaflet, label, tape, tag or card;
— unless impracticable, this information shall be referred to by abbreviated information or the symbol given in point 1 of Annex VII, which must appear on the container or packaging for the information referred in point (d) of paragraph 1 and on packaging for the information referred in point (g) of paragraph 1.
- In the case of soap, bath balls and other small products where it is impossible for practical reasons for the information referred to in point (g) of paragraph 1 to appear on a label, tag, tape or card or in an enclosed leaflet, this information shall appear on a notice in immediate proximity to the container in which the cosmetic product is exposed for sale.
- For cosmetic products that are not pre-packaged, are packaged at the point of sale at the purchaser’s request, or are pre-packaged for immediate sale, Member States shall adopt detailed rules for indication of the information referred to in paragraph 1.