The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) acts as the voice of the UK industry, representing all types of companies involved in making, supplying and selling cosmetic and personal care products and suppliers to the industry. Through co-ordination of the industry’s viewpoint on key issues such as safety, science, legislation and innovation, the Association is able to promote good working practices to ensure that consumers are provided with the very best products.

Exiting the EU

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom submitted the notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Therefore from 29 March 2019, the UK will become a ‘third country’ to the European Union (EU) and all EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply in the UK on this date unless a ratified Withdrawal Agreement establishes another date. These include over 30 Regulations that impact the cosmetics sector including in particular the Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 and REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals).

Contingency planning is crucial to ensure business continuity. Companies need to prepare for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 under a ‘no deal’ scenario, and consequently with no implementation period.

CTPA, has comprehensively engaged with key UK Government officials and industry bodies such as Cosmetics Europe, the European personal care association, and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to ensure that the cosmetics industry position is clearly heard during the EU exit negotiations.

CTPA has a dedicated area on where CTPA tackles Brexit.


While work continues on the implementation of the new UK cosmetics legislation, focus has now turned to UK chemicals legislation and its relationship with REACH.


The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has updated its Brexit page following the publication of the draft Withdrawal Agreement. The ECHA Brexit page also provides specific Q&As to advise companies more specifically based on their role and location.

ECHA is alerting companies based in the EU27/EEA that they will be affected by Brexit if their supply chain involves a UK company.

The Agency is also advising UK companies that the EU chemicals legislation (REACH, CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging), Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and Prior Informed Consent (PIC)) will no longer apply to them post-Brexit.

ECHA has also published a specific page highlighting what is important to know before Brexit, focusing on REACH registrations and authorisations, C&L inventory, manufacture and supply of biocide products.

In addition, in January 2019, ECHA will provide technical guidance for UK-based companies on how to notify ECHA through REACH-IT of changes related to appointing an Only Representative (OR) based in one of the remaining EU-27 Member States.


With regard to the UK, the Government has issued an updated ‘no deal’ technical notice on REACH.

The document gives additional information of the UK REACH plan in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. In particular it provides advice on the following topics:

What are the impacts and the actions to take for a UK registration holder of EU REACH who wants to continue to market the substance in the UK?

What are the impacts and the actions to take for a UK Downstream User or a distributor wishing to maintain UK market access for a substance registered under EU REACH?

What are the impacts and the actions to take for a UK importer of a substance outside of the EU/EEA?

Management of Substances of Very High Concern and Restrictions

  Registrations waiting for ECHA’s decision

  Overview of UK REACH

As it stands, the UK proposal will be extremely challenging for the cosmetics industry to fulfil as it will require companies to duplicate registrations already performed at EU level, and is relying on the fact that the EU registration dossier will be uploaded on the UK REACH system post-Brexit.

The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee published its report on chemical regulations after Brexit. The report highlights:

the impact of Brexit on the chemicals sector for both the UK and the EU, especially in regard to access to substances, disruptions to the supply chain, loss of data, concerns of duplicating animal testing, costs that will be faced by the industry, and more;

the concerns around the current plan issued by the UK Government for the UK regulatory regime post Brexit and the arrangements for continued compliance with EU REACH.

The report is calling on the UK Government to:

urgently explain how its independent regulatory regime would work;

put forward a more credible plan for collecting information on chemicals;

identify which UK agency will take on the role of chemical regulation; and

enable UK chemical businesses, including SMEs, to take steps to maintain their access to the EU market ahead of exit day.

CTPA has taken this issue up at the highest political level. Allied chemical industries have also contacted Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to highlight the sector’s concerns on the current approach toward management of EU REACH and the plan of a UK REACH framework.


While plastic is currently a focus of attention, it is a useful material with many benefits when used as packaging, as component parts of packaging or as items to be used in association with the product contained within. The main aim for packaging is to protect its contents from spoiling, so protecting the consumer, and to enable the consumer to safely store and use the product over time. Cosmetic packaging must also be labelled with specific legally required information, including a list of ingredients and, where necessary, how to use the product safely. Cosmetics’ manufacturers try to strike the right balance between a product that is protected for use over several months, or even years, and minimising packaging.

CTPA completely understands the problem of excessive plastic litter and welcomes the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, one aspect of which is to minimise waste.


The Chancellor announced in the Autumn Budget that, subject to consultation, a tax would be introduced from April 2022 on the production and import of plastic packaging which does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.

On 18 December 2018 the UK Government launched its Resources and Waste Strategy, as part of its 25 Year Environment Plan. The strategy encompasses a number of initiatives on waste and plastics, including the above proposed tax on plastic packaging, reforms to the Packaging Producer Responsibility System, a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and also ‘waste crime’.

Consultations on the reforms to Packaging Producer Responsibility and a tax on plastic-based packaging are expected in early 2019.


The European Commission has mandated the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to review ‘microplastics’ intentionally added to consumer products under the REACH Regulation. In early 2018, ECHA issued a call for evidence on ‘microplastics’. The scope of the call for evidence was extremely broad: all solid polymers in all consumer products, i.e. rinse-off and leave-on and both synthetic and natural, are under investigation. With the working definition of ‘plastic’ being “any solid polymer”, the potential impact on the industry is huge. Most potential alternative ingredients will also be covered by the broad definition.

CTPA has grave concerns regarding the potential impact to the UK cosmetics industry of a REACH Restriction which is not science-driven and evidence-based.

The industry has provided information to ECHA on the importance of scientific definitions and the possible economic impact of a broad restriction scope. CTPA, as part of the wider European cosmetics industry, advocates the definitions used in the existing UK legislation on plastic microbeads:

“microbead” means any water-insoluble solid plastic particle of less than or equal to 5mm in any dimension.

“plastic” means a synthetic polymeric substance that can be moulded, extruded or physically manipulated into various solid forms and that retains its final manufactured shape during use in its intended applications.

The ECHA proposal of a Restriction Dossier on ‘microplastics’ under REACH is anticipated early January 2019. The proposal will then be reviewed by key ECHA committees throughout 2019.

The CTPA consumer website,, holds a wealth of information about the science behind products, ingredient issues and the strict rules governing the safety of such products, as well as an in-depth look at plastic microbeads.