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CJEU: Cosmetic products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals

Placing that product on the EU market may be prohibited where that testing has been conducted outside the EU in order to market the product in third countries and where the results of that testing are used to prove the safety of the product

The European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (‘EFfCI’) is a trade association representing the manufacturers within the EU of ingredients for use in cosmetic products. Three of its members conducted animal testing outside the EU in order that the cosmetic products containing certain ingredients could be sold in China and Japan.

The EFfCI brought an action before the British courts to establish whether the three companies concerned would incur criminal penalties if they were to place on the British market cosmetic products containing ingredients that have been tested on animals.

The Regulation on cosmetic products1 prohibits the marketing of products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals in order to meet the requirements of that regulation. One of those requirements is that the cosmetic product is safe for human health, that safety having to be assessed on the basis of the relevant information and be the subject of a report included in the product information file.

The EFfCI claims that the regulation is not infringed if the animal testing has been conducted in order to comply with the laws of third countries. Hearing that dispute, the High Court of Justice (England & Wales), Queen’s Bench Division (Administrative Court), UK, questions the Court of Justice on that subject.

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