The aim of the new legislation is to harmonize the requirements for cosmetic products in the Customs Union and to achieve greater alignment with European legislation. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Technical Regulation is, in parts, very similar to the previous EU Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC and the current EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009. There are, however, certain specific requirements, such as the obligation to confirm product compliance by a third-party laboratory, which must be based in the Customs Union.
Products sold in the Customs Union need to have a local Authorized Representative. Authorized Representatives can be local distributors, importers, local company representatives or any third party appointed to perform this task. The duties of the Authorized Representative are similar to those of the Responsible Person in the EU.
Annexes to the Technical Regulation list the prohibited substances, restricted substances, allowed dyes/pigments, preservatives and UV filters with which the product formulas need to be in line, much like in the EU Regulation. However, the lists are not wholly the same as those in the EU cosmetics regulations.
Cosmetic products are classified into two groups and the requirements that they will have to fulfil in order to be able to enter the Customs Union depend on whether they are low or higher risk. Product categories that are considered to be higher risk are products such as tanning products, skin whiteners, intimate care products, cosmetics for children, depilatories and skin peels, hair lighteners, bleachers, straighteners and waivers, products with nanomaterials, oral hygiene products with more than 0.15% fluoride and certain teeth whitening products.
Lower risk products can be issued with a declaration of conformity (EAC declaration) to a body approved by Rospotrebnadzor, which also conducts any testing to evidence conformity.
On the other hand, higher risk products require a pre-market State Registration that confirms the hygienic safety of the products. Samples of the product and specific documentation must be sent to an approved laboratory based in the Customs Union (also lower risk products need to be tested at an approved laboratory based in the Customs Union). It usually takes up to three months to complete the State Registration process.
For certain products, such as perfumes, the importer may also require a report on contents of ethanol, which is necessary for taxation of excisable products containing ethanol.
Both the EAC declaration and the State Registration are pre-market requirements and are valid throughout the whole territory of the Customs Union. Declaration of conformity can be valid for up to 5 or 7 years, while the State Registration currently doesn’t have any time limitation – it will likely be limited to 5 years in the near future though.
The labelling requirements follow the principles of the EU cosmetics regulations but it is important to note that the products need to bear the EAC conformity mark, that most of the information on the label needs to be in Russian and that an expiry date is obligatory for all products.