Understand The Existing EU Bans

Called the Cosmetic Directive, it is the documentation that deals with the regulatory framework for eliminating cosmetics animal testing entirely in EU. According to the cosmetic directive, there were two bans imposed.

  1. Testing Ban – Under this ban, no cosmetic products of ingredients could be tested on animals.
  2. Marketing Ban – Under this initiative, the European markets were prohibited from selling or marketing any finished cosmetic product or ingredients that were tested on animals, either within EU or outside.

These two provisions remained when the Cosmetics Regulation came into force on 11 July 2013. However, the testing ban on finished items was actually applied since 11th September 2004, whereas the testing ban on combination of ingredients or single ingredients came into effect only on 11th March 2009. It wasn’t until 2013 that all animal testing for cosmetic products was prohibited even if there were no other alternatives available.

A key aspect of understanding the EU directives is to realize that there are certain limitations.

  • According to the existing EU law, the bans are applicable only with respect to the EU. This means any testing done inside EU or the sale of products inside EU.
  • The ban only targets products used in the cosmetic industry or intended for the cosmetic world. It does not target the health sector laboratory testing on animals.
  • Ecotox testing or tests done to figure out environmental risks is exempt under this ban.
  • The ban exclusively targets consumer safety testing and does not apply to worker safety testing.

This is why the current EU directives and bans are seen as a half measure.