EU/UK Cosmetics Responsible person


EU/UK cosmetics responsible person is an EU/UK based cosmetic product manufacturer, importer, distributor, or another person established within the EU/UK who has to accept this role in writing. The role of the responsible person is to ensure that the cosmetic products placed on the EU/UK market are safe for use and compliant with the EU Regulation 1223/2009 and UK Schedule 34 to the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. A responsible person is basically a legal representative of a cosmetic product in the EU/UK.

EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009, which came into effect on July 11, 2013, established the concept of a Responsible person (RP) for cosmetic products:

Only cosmetic products for which a legal or natural person is designated within the Community as ‘responsible person’ shall be placed on the market. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 4.1)

It is, therefore, obligatory to appoint a  cosmetics Responsible person in the EU/UK to be able to put the products on the EU/UK market.

There has to be only one Responsible person per product for the whole EU and only one Responsible person per product covering the whole UK.

In order to establish clear responsibilities, each cosmetic product should be linked to a responsible person established within the Community. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 11)
For the purpose of effective market surveillance, a product information file should be made readily accessible, at one single address within the Community, to the competent authority of the Member State where the file is located. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 17)



The Responsible person has to ensure safety and compliance of the cosmetic products with the EU Cosmetics Regulation and/or UK Schedule 34 to the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 before they are placed on the EU/UK market, and make sure that the products remain compliant with the Regulation while they are on the market.

For each cosmetic product placed on the market, the responsible person shall ensure compliance with the relevant obligations set out in this Regulation. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 4.2)

The obligations of the cosmetics Responsible person are described in the Article 5 of the Regulation (see what they’re referring to in the table below).

Responsible persons shall ensure compliance with Articles 3, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, Article 19(1), (2)and (5), as well as Articles 20, 21, 23 and 24. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 5.1.)

The Responsible person, therefore, has to provide or ensure the following:

  • Registered address in the EU/UK where the Product Information File is kept readily accessible to the local competent authority in a language easily understood by that competent authority for inspection even 10 years after the last batch of the product has been placed on the market.
  • Product claims substantiation
  • Correct cosmetic product labelling
  • Product Information File (PIF) compliance with the Regulation, that the products were produced according to Good manufacturing practice (GMP), that the safety assessment has been conducted etc.
  • CPNP notification of cosmetic products
  • Communication of any undesirable or serious undesirable effects to the competent authorities
  • In case of non-conformity of the product with the EU/UK regulation, take any appropriate measures including recall, removal of the products or taking corrective action to bring that product into conformity. At the request of the competent authorities, the Responsible person must cooperate with the former to eliminate the risk posed by cosmetic products which they are the Responsible person for.

ArticleReferring toArticleReferring to
8Good manufacturing practice17Traces of prohibited substances
10Safety assessment18Animal testing
11Product information file19Labelling
12Sampling and analysis20Product claims
13Notification21Access to information for the public
14Restriction for substances listed in the Annexes23Communication of serious undesirable effects
15Substances classified as CMR substances24Information on substances


Responsible person (RP) can be any legal or natural person who is based within the EU/UK. Usually, though, the RP is one of the following:

  • EU/UK based cosmetics manufacturer,
  • importer,
  • distributor,
  • or a third person or company who accepts this role in writing.

Therefore, if the manufacturer is from the EU/UK, they usually act as the EU/UK RP themselves. Cosmetics manufacturers from outside of the EU/UK, on the other hand, can’t act as the RP themselves. We also need to point out that RPs based in the EU can’t act as the UK RPs and UK based RPs can’t act as EU RPs.  They have an option to either appoint their importer or a distributor as the RP, which is not recommended since the RP has to keep the Product Information File and all the product secrets with it; or they can appoint a third person or a company (such as CE.way) to act as the RP. This person or a company must accept this role in writing.

To sum up then:

  • The Responsible person has to be established in the EU/UK.
  • The Responsible person must be designated by a written mandate, and has to accept this role in writing.
  • The Responsible person can be the manufacturer (if established in the EU/UK), a distributor, an importer, or a professional (designated) Responsible person


Based on the description of the Responsible person’s duties, you can see that the Responsible person’s job is very important and requires expertise in various areas. What are the advantages of having a professional Responsible person?

  1. It is the professional Responsible person’s full time job to keep track of the ever-changing EU/UK legislation, making sure that you are familiar with the legislative updates so that you can keep your products compliant with the EU/UK legislation.
  2. Its employees assist the clients with regulatory advice, their expertise enabling them to provide answers faster and more accurately. A professional RP can be your single contact point for any regulatory issue in the EU/UK. Experts in the field help clients to compile the Product Information File faster and better, making sure that the products are fully compliant with the Regulation.
  3. A Professional Responsible person knows the notification process, performing the notification faster and without errors.
  4. Even if you change your distributor, your Responsible person remains the same, eliminating the need to reprint your labels (labels have to state the name and address of the Responsible person) and the need to notify your products once again.
  5. A professional Responsible person can easily answer the questions any of the 27 different EU or the UK competent authorities might have, and handle any crisis that might arise in any of them.
  6. You can be sure that a professional Responsible person will treat your Product Information Files with care, keeping all of your secrets confidential.
  7. A professional Responsible person’s task is to ensure the compliance of your products, and is therefore not bothered by the conflict of interest with your commercial interests.