Brexit: Be prepared for the end of the transition period

Notwithstanding faltering negotiations, the possibility for extension of the transition period has not been utilized and after 31 December 2020, manufacturers and importers of cosmetic products established in the UK will finally no longer be considered established in the EU.

The new legal playground

Although future regulatory cooperation in certain areas may be possible, there will be no longer mutual recognition of the crucial legal aspects, e.g. the Responsible Person (RP), or notified products in the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP) where UK residents will then no longer have access. Distributors handling products shipped from the EU into the UK will become importers and automatically be considered as the RP if there is no UK RP appointed via written agreement.

The applicable legal instrument for cosmetics in the UK will be the Statutory Instrument (SI) for cosmetics (“Schedule 34”) [1] as published in March 2019, including its amendments. The SI has been mostly established via transposition of the EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009. Considering the status of negotiations, the SI will enter into force as is on 1 January 2021 and most likely provide the basis for future cosmetics legislation in the UK.

First come, first serve

In accordance with Article 41 of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement [2], “any good that was lawfully placed on the market in the Union or the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period may be further made available on the market of the Union or of the United Kingdom (…)”.

Making available on the market” means any supply of a good for distribution, consumption or use on the market (…). “Placing on the market” refers to the first making available of a good. Further explanations and practical advice can be found in the “Blue Guide”[3] issued by the European Commission (EC).

It should be noted that economic operators must proof that their goods were placed on the market before the end of the transition period (Article 42). In any case, economic operators are advised to get familiar with the applicable procedures for import of goods (e.g. customs, taxes, etc.). It is recommended to consult the “Readiness notices” [4] and related guidelines issued by the EC.

What will happen in 2021?

In summary, not so much will be clear for UK residents until the negotiations are completed. For example, the status of the UK notification database (UK CPNP) as well as requirements concerning cosmetovigilance procedures and authority communication still depend on future agreements.

In the case of any further questions on this topic, we will glad to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us.







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