Brexit and The Facelift of the UK’s Cosmetic Regulations

Brexit is just around the corner and the United Kingdom (UK) is all set to leave the European Union (EU). The implementation date of Brexit was yet again postponed to January 31, 2020, after the UK requested more time for preparations. However, if the UK and the EU are able to ratify a withdrawal agreement by the time of Brexit, the UK will have a transition period until December 31, 2020, to set the governance in order.

But, in case the UK leaves the EU with a ‘no-deal’, the European Union (withdrawal) Act 2018 will come into force. This Act allows the UK law to retain the EU-derived legislations and amend them accordingly to enable smooth functioning. In addition, the EU Exit Regulations 2019 have also been introduced to amend the UK legislation in the case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Earlier, in 2019, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) released a draft guidance proposing some changes in the cosmetic regulations to ensure distribution of safe cosmetic products in the UK. While majority of the regulations are retained in the new UK law, a few changes have been made to align with Brexit. Let’s take a look at some of the key changes:

  1. Responsible Person – Manufacturers cannot place a product in the UK unless a Responsible Person based in the UK is appointed. However, manufacturers with existing cosmetic products in the UK will have a transition period of two years to update the label with the name and address of the UK responsible person.
  1. Safety Assessor Signature – Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSRs) of all the cosmetic products entering the UK market will require a signature of a safety assessor who holds a diploma from the British university. All CPSRs signed before the exit date will remain valid in both the EU and the UK, regardless of the safety assessor’s qualification.
  1. Cosmetic Product Notification – Any cosmetic product placed in the UK market must be notified to the Secretary of State by the concerned Responsible Person. To ensure smooth notification process, the UK government has established an online cosmetic product notification service, which is similar to the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP). For existing products that were previously notified to the EU through the CPNP, the Responsible Person will have 90 days to notify them to the UK portal.
  1. Labeling – For cosmetic products to be placed in the UK market, the following information must be presented on the product’s label:

    • Name and address of the UK Responsible Person
    • Origin country
    • Nominal quantity of the contents
    • Durability date, i.e., “Best Before” date
    • Warnings and precautions
    • Batch number
    • Function of the product; if it is not clear
    • Ingredient list

The above-mentioned Regulatory changes will come into force only in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. Although the Brexit terms of agreement are yet to be finalized, it is advised that the manufactures keep a track of all the Regulatory advancements and consult a Regulatory expert with strong presence in both the regions to ensure successful market-entry. Stay informed. Stay compliant.