Court Decision: Animal Testing Ban Applies Outside the EU

According to Article 18 of EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009, animal testing may no longer be performed with cosmetics or with products and substances in cosmetics. The ban has been in full effect since March 11, 2013. The transition period ended on that date, a period that still allowed animal testing to evaluate the chemical contents of cosmetics (in individual cases) outside of the EU.

Nonetheless, many cosmetics manufacturers were unclear about the interpretation of Article 18. The European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFfCI) asserted that animal tests performed outside the EU were permitted if the data gained from such tests was relevant for safety, meaning that the products could be sold in Japan and China, for example. The central question is whether cosmetics companies open themselves to prosecution if they market these products inside the EU.

In its decision at the end of September, the Court of Justice of the European Union stated that when data is obtained from animal testing for substances in cosmetics, animal testing can be banned according to Article 18 1b of the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Consequently, a company can be prosecuted when it operates contrary to the law.

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