Cosmetic Products Legislation

The Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 as amended, and the European Union (Cosmetic Product) Regulations 2013 (SI 440 of 2013), lay down the legal requirements for the placing of cosmetic products on the market in Ireland. 

Under these Regulations a cosmetic product is defined as “any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours”. 

The Environmental Health Service’s role in this area primarily involves the market surveillance of cosmetic products at retail and distributor level for the purposes of Article 22 of  Regulation (EC) No. 1223/09,  in cooperation with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and Public Analysts’ Laboratories. 

Market surveillance involves activities such as  carrying out inspections, taking samples of cosmetic products for analysis and following up on Rapex Alerts relating to unsafe cosmetic products.

Authorised Officers have  a number of enforcement options available under S.I. 440 of 2013 to secure compliance with the Regulations, including the option to serve compliance notices where appropriate under Regulation 12.

A copy of the HSE’s appeals procedure for compliance notices can be found at the following link.

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