Product labelling and claims


Just as attractive labelling is one of the most important features of the product when it comes to sales, so is correct labelling essential for the compliance of the cosmetic product with the cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009/EC and the UK Schedule 34 to the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, as labelling is an important part of the product information file.

The regulation contains various cosmetic labelling laws – requirements and very specific rules regarding labelling, which have to be followed and are described in article 19 of the regulation. The notification of cosmetic products is not possible without the compliant product labels.

Without prejudice to other provisions in this Article, cosmetic products shall be made available on the market only where the container and packaging of cosmetic products bear the following information in indelible, easily legible and visible lettering… (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 19.1)

According to the regulation, the container and the outer packaging of cosmetic products have to bear the following information in indelible, easily legible and visible lettering:

  • The name and address of the responsible person
  • The country of origin if the product is imported from countries outside of the EU/UK
  • Nominal content of the product at the time of packaging, given by weight or volume
  • Date of minimum durability or period after opening
  • Precautions for use
  • Batch number of manufacture or the reference for identifying the cosmetic product
  • Function of the cosmetic product, unless it’s clear from its presentation
  • List of ingredients (which may be indicated on the outer packaging alone)

Some of these elements may also be mentioned on an enclosed or attached leaflet, label, tape, tag or card if it’s impossible to list them on the labels. In that case an open book symbol should be placed on the label, which indicates that some information about the product can be found elsewhere.

The EU consists of 27 different countries and the cosmetic labelling laws require certain information on the labels to be translated into different languagesSome countries have more than one official language, which further complicates things and requires that certain information appear in more than one language on the labels.

Labelling languages EU cosmetics


Every claim that appears on the cosmetic product label, on the website where the cosmetic product is presented, in TV commercials etc. has to be substantiated unless it’s a clear exaggeration or it’s obvious for the type of the cosmetic product. It is a responsible person’s task to ensure that all of the claims made regarding the product are substantiated.

In the labelling, making available on the market and advertising of cosmetic products, text, names, trademarks, pictures and figurative or other signs shall not be used to imply that these products have characteristics or functions which they do not have. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 20)

The EU published a separate regulation (Regulation 655/2013), which deals specifically with cosmetic product claims and is laying down 6 common criteria for the justification of claims used in relation to cosmetic products:

  • Legal compliance
  • Truthfulness
  • Evidential support
  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Informed decision-making.

Regulation 655/2013 also provides guidance on the use of “free from claims” and hypoallergenic claims and lists the best practices for claim substantiation evidence.

If you would like to find out more about the labelling requirements in the EU and UK and check if your product labels are indeed compliant with the EU and UK Cosmetics Regulation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.