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Cosmetics

The content below is for guidance only. Amazon reserves the right to remove any listing it considers to be inappropriate for sale for any reason.

EU Requirements: EU Regulation 1223/2009 on Cosmetic Products (the “EU Cosmetics Regulation”) regulates the supply and sale of cosmetic products in the EU. It sets out a number of important requirements in relation to cosmetic products, including prohibitions and restrictions on certain substances, a requirement for a responsible person based in the EU and labelling requirements.

It is your responsibility to comply with the EU requirements if you are selling cosmetics products in the EU. You must also comply with other national requirements in the countries in which you sell these products.

Please see below for further information about EU requirements. Please also see “Requirements for Cosmetics Products” for further information.

UK Requirements: Until 31 December 2020, the EU Cosmetics Regulation regulates the supply and sale of cosmetic products in the UK. It sets out a number of important requirements in relation to cosmetic products, including prohibitions and restrictions on certain substances, a requirement for a responsible person based in the EU and labelling requirements.

After 31 December 2020, an amended version of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 will apply to the supply and sale of cosmetic products in the UK as a result of The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the “UK Regulation on Cosmetic Products”). Different rules apply to goods you sell in: (1) Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales); and (2) Northern Ireland. We have noted below where there will be relevant changes in the UK requirements following the Brexit transition period.

It is your responsibility to comply with the UK requirements if you are selling cosmetics products in the UK. If you also sell on cosmetics products on Amazon EU website(s), then you must also comply with EU Cosmetics Regulation and with other national requirements in the countries in which you sell these products.

Please see below for further information about UK requirements. Please also see “Requirements for Cosmetics Products” for further information.

This material is for informational purposes, and you should not take it as a substitute for legal advice. We encourage you to consult your legal counsel for any concerns about the laws and regulations relating to your product. This material only reflects the position at the date of writing and requirements in the EU and the UK may change – particularly in light of the developing position with Brexit. You should refer to current UK Brexit guidance about your products (where available) to learn more about changes that may affect you following the end of the transition period.

I. EU Requirements

Examples of Permitted Listings

Reminder: All listings and products must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Only packaged and unused beauty products, such as cosmetics and skin or hair care products, which are safe for human use, that appropriately described and labelled, and are not otherwise restricted or prohibited by the applicable legislation, may be listed on Amazon.

Examples of Prohibited Listings

  • Opened or used cosmetics, skin products or hair care products
  • Products that have passed their expiration or “use by” dates
  • Products that are not sealed in the original manufacturer's packaging
  • Products that have had their packaging altered in such a way that removes or obscures any identifying codes placed on the packaging by the manufacturer or distributor, such as matrix codes, lot numbers or serial numbers
  • Products labelled as “tester” products, including perfume testers, or “not intended for resale”
  • Counterfeit cosmetics
  • Decanted perfumes and fragrances
  • Smell-alike perfumes. A smell-alike perfume is a perfume that imitates or tries to reproduce the scent of a branded perfume (“original fragrance”). Among other things, It is forbidden to:
    • use the name and brand of an original fragrance in the product description of a perfume that is not that original fragrance;
    • describe the perfume as “similar to” or “inspired by” an original fragrance;
    • give a name to the perfume that sounds similar to that of an original fragrance;
    • mention the original fragrance in the Q&A section, URL, or in answers to customer comments;
    • offer guidance or contact customers for them to learn about the correlation between the perfume and an original fragrance;
    • upload images that contain correlation information, for example images of tables where a customer can look up which original fragrance the perfume corresponds to;
    • maintain such correlation tables on external websites and refer customers to those websites on Amazon.
  • Products where their use is restricted to professionals under EU Regulation 1223/2009 on Cosmetic Products, that require a prescription or that should only be purchased from a registered pharmacist; this includes products which fall under this restriction if their regulated ingredients exceed a maximum limit (for example, teeth whitening products containing or releasing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide)
  • Products that contain any of the prohibited ingredients listed in EU Regulation 1223/2009 or that do not comply with the restrictions of the regulation, such as cosmetics prohibited from containing hydroquinone, vitamin K1 (Phytonadione), teeth whitening products which contain or release more than 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate or perboric acid, or benzoyl peroxide
  • Products containing colorants, preservatives and UV filters other than those allowed under EU Regulation 1223/2009
  • Products whose claims do not comply with EU Regulation 1223/2009 and other applicable regulations, such as EU Regulation 655/2013, that convey misleading product characteristics or functions to consumers
  • Products that have been tested on animals or that contain ingredients that have been tested on animals, as set forth by EU Regulation 1223/2009
  • Products prohibited on the advice of governmental agencies
  • Listings claiming that a product is intended to be used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in humans or animals
  • Products that contain or claim to contain snake oil
  • Henna products which are applied to the skin, unless entirely natural
  • Cosmetics that contain ingredients derived from endangered species, such as sharks, whales, dolphins or porpoises
  • Eyelash and eyebrow conditioners containing Bimatoprost
  • Skin creams containing mercury
  • Eye makeup containing Kohl, Kajal, Al-Kahl or Surma

Note: Sellers who list prohibited items or content can have their selling permissions removed, either temporarily or permanently.

Related Amazon Help Pages

Additional Useful Information

II. UK Requirements

Examples of Permitted Listings

Reminder: All listings and products must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

The UK requirements for cosmetic products apply to any cosmetic product supplied or sold in the UK, but the provisions apply differently to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales, “GB”) and Northern Ireland. You can read more about the position in Northern Ireland (“NI”) below.

Cosmetics made available for the first time in the UK or EU on or before 31 December 2020 will need to comply with the EU Cosmetics Regulation which regulates the supply and sale of cosmetic products in the UK. It sets out a number of important requirements in relation to cosmetic products, including prohibitions and restrictions on certain substances, a requirement for a responsible person based in the EU and labelling requirements.

Products that are first made available in the EU or UK on or before 31 December 2020 can continue to circulate until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that take effect from 1 January 2021. You can retain evidence of when products were first made available in the UK or EU by keeping documents including contracts of sale, invoices and documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution.

After 31 December 2020, the “UK Regulation on Cosmetic Products” will apply to. Different rules apply to goods you sell in: (1) Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales); and (2) Northern Ireland. We have noted below where there will be relevant changes in the UK requirements following the Brexit transition period.

packaged and unused beauty products, such as cosmetics and skin or hair care products, which are safe for human use, that appropriately described and labelled, and are not otherwise restricted or prohibited by the applicable legislation, may be listed on Amazon.

Examples of Prohibited Listings

  • Opened or used cosmetics, skin products or hair care products
  • Products that have passed their expiration or “use by” dates
  • Products that are not sealed in the original manufacturer's packaging
  • Products that have had their packaging altered in such a way that removes or obscures any identifying codes placed on the packaging by the manufacturer or distributor, such as matrix codes, lot numbers or serial numbers
  • Products labelled as “tester” products, including perfume testers, or “not intended for resale”
  • Counterfeit cosmetics
  • Decanted perfumes and fragrances
  • Smell-alike perfumes. A smell-alike perfume is a perfume that imitates or tries to reproduce the scent of a branded perfume (“original fragrance”). Among other things, It is forbidden to:
    • use the name and brand of an original fragrance in the product description of a perfume that is not that original fragrance;
    • describe the perfume as “similar to” or “inspired by” an original fragrance;
    • give a name to the perfume that sounds similar to that of an original fragrance;
    • mention the original fragrance in the Q&A section, URL, or in answers to customer comments;
    • offer guidance or contact customers for them to learn about the correlation between the perfume and an original fragrance;
    • upload images that contain correlation information, for example images of tables where a customer can look up which original fragrance the perfume corresponds to;
    • maintain such correlation tables on external websites and refer customers to those websites on Amazon.
  • Products which are prohibited from being sold in the following UK rules and regulations:
    • Products where their use is restricted to professionals under the UK Regulation on Cosmetic Products, that require a prescription or that should only be purchased from a registered pharmacist; this includes products which fall under this restriction if their regulated ingredients exceed a maximum limit (for example, teeth whitening products containing or releasing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide)
    • Products that contain any of the prohibited ingredients listed in the UK Regulation on Cosmetic Products or that do not comply with the restrictions of the regulation, such as cosmetics prohibited from containing hydroquinone, vitamin K1 (Phytonadione), teeth whitening products which contain or release more than 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate or perboric acid, or benzoyl peroxide
    • Products containing colorants, preservatives and UV filters other than those allowed under the UK Regulation on Cosmetic Products
    • Products whose claims do not comply with the UK Regulation on Cosmetic Products and other applicable regulations, such as legislation in relation to the justification of claims used in relation to cosmetics, that convey misleading product characteristics or functions to consumers
    • Products that have been tested on animals or that contain ingredients that have been tested on animals, as set forth by EU Regulation 655/2013
  • Products prohibited on the advice of governmental agencies
  • Listings claiming that a product is intended to be used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in humans or animals
  • Products that contain or claim to contain snake oil
  • Henna products which are applied to the skin, unless entirely natural
  • Cosmetics that contain ingredients derived from endangered species, such as sharks, whales, dolphins or porpoises
  • Eyelash and eyebrow conditioners containing Bimatoprost
  • Skin creams containing mercury
  • Eye makeup containing Kohl, Kajal, Al-Kahl or Surma

Note: Sellers who list prohibited items or content can have their selling permissions removed, either temporarily or permanently.

Related Amazon Help Pages

Northern Ireland

Please note that different rules will apply in NI from 1 January 2021 as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In particular:

  • You should ensure that products meet EU requirements, including notification to the EU Portal (CPNP).
  • The responsible persons can be based in NI or the EU.
  • “Qualifying Northern Ireland goods” will be able to be sold in GB. The UK Government is issuing guidance on how this will work.

Brexit guidance can be found here:

GB:

  • Placing manufactured goods in Great Britain from 1 January 2021
  • Product Safety and Metrology in GB from 1 January 2021
  • Cosmetics - GB

NI:

  • Placing manufactured goods in Northern Ireland from Great Britain
  • Placing manufactured goods in Northern Ireland from the EU
  • Product Safety and Metrology - NI
  • Cosmetics - NI

Additional Information

For more information on the requirements for cosmetics products in the UK, we encourage you to visit the following site:

The following websites contain information about changes in relation to Brexit:

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