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Switzerland and the European Union



The European Economic Area (EEA) includes the 28 European Union (EU) Member States as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 is a text with “EEA relevance” and directly applies for these countries. Therefore, notifications for cosmetic products via Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP) conducted by the European Responsible Person also apply for Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland on the opposite is not member of the EU nor of the EEA.

There are bilateral agreements between the EU and Switzerland so that legal requirements are harmonized or partly implemented into the Swiss national law in many sectors. For cosmetic products, the Swiss Regulation on cosmetic products (VKos) (1) includes e.g. the duty of conducting safety assessments and keeping Product Information Files (PIF) as well as the restrictions according to the Annexes II to VI of the Cosmetics Regulation. On the other hand, the terminology of the European “Responsible Person” had not been not been transferred to the Swiss national law.

Consequently, the legal responsibility of cosmetic products exported from the EU to Switzerland lies with the Swiss importer who has to keep the Product Information File. This requirement is widely congruent with Article 11 the European Cosmetics Regulation. If the Product Information File is already available in a foreign country and compliant with the Swiss Regulation for Cosmetics, it can be fully adopted by the importer or distributor and does need to be recreated by a local entity in Switzerland (Article 5.3 of the VKos).

In regards to the labeling for products that are legally marketed in the EU, the name and address of the Responsible Person for the European Union can be named as contact address also for the Swiss market (Article 9.2 of the VKos). The Swiss importer’s contact data does not necessarily need to appear on the product label.

Overall, the majority of cosmetic products that are legally marketed within the EU (i.e. which are in accordance with Article 3 of the Cosmetics Regulation and notified via CPNP) may be also placed on the Swiss market without further restrictions.

Cosmetic products exported from Switzerland to the European Union, however, will be considered as imports from a third country. Therefore, the importer of cosmetic products from Switzerland or an appointed third party must act as the Responsible Person.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact is via cosmetics@mdss.com.


Source:

Regulation of the EDI of 16 December 2016 on cosmetic products (VKos) (Status: 30 May 2017) https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/20143407/index.html