The pandemic has produced new obstacles for all businesses including the cosmetic industry. It has forced many businesses to shift their marketing approach from shopping in stores to shopping online. The online platform is new media for many businesses and with it brings its own obstacles such as regulation requirements that differ by country. However difficult at first, the successful implementation of an online business platform that aligns with international regulations will eventually pay off by mitigating legal trouble, maintain a strong business brand of transparency and safety and of course keep customers safe in the process.

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European Union

In the European Union, cosmetics sold still have to comply with the EU regulations as well as in the UK regulations. this applies even if it shipped to the consumer from a warehouse in the EU or from another country. 

In this case, the market needs to have a EU based responsible person appointed and need to have the information of the product file ahead of time including the most relevant information about the finished product as ingredients, packaging, manufacturing process, product labeling and the product’s safety report which is the most important part of the file.

Before the product can be sold online it has to comply with the EU labeling and have to be notified by the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP).


In Canada, cosmetics are regulated by Health Canada.  Cosmetic must comply with  the Food and Drug Act and Cosmetics Regulations which contains the requirements involving composition, safety, labeling and marketing of cosmetics. 

In Canada, products must comply with the requirements of the Consumer packaging and Labeling Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Regulations. 

The method of sale  does not matter in Canada for the requirements must still apply. Products to sold online have to be safe and free of any prohibited substances. Products sold in Canada must be properly labeled and notified to Health Canada within 10 days of the first sale.

Notification can be made by manufacturer, importer, distributor or a representative on the company’s behalf by submitting a Cosmetic Notification Form (CFN).

United States

In the USA the same requirements apply as in the EU and Canada. In the USA cosmetics are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and products must comply with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FD&C act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).  However, there are some state specifics.  The FDA also had a list of prohibited products that can be used like color additives and must request market preapproval.  The USA also have their own labeling requirements that must be followed. In case of registration cosmetics old in the United States don’t need pre-market, approval but companies are encouraged to participate in the Voluntary Cosmetics Registration Program (VCRP).

About Global Regulatory Partners

Global Regulatory Partners Inc, (GRP) is an American company that provides regulatory affairs, clinical, quality and safety services to medical devices and pharmaceutical companies globally. GRP headquarters is located in Massachusetts USA and its main affiliates are located in China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. GRP helps many life science companies register their products in different countries in compliance with local regulations.  To learn more, please contact us at  info@globalregulatorypartners.com

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