Is this the end of “free-from” claims?

An additional annex – Annex III, ‘Free from’ claims, was recently added to EC Regulation No. 655/2013. Effective July 2019, claims highlighting the absence of substances will be regulated and restricted. A big part of this change is highly relevant for preservatives. “Parabens Free” claims for example, will no longer be allowed, and “Preservatives Free” is also in question.

New ‘Free from’ claims restrictions:

Cosmetic product claims are governed by EU Regulation (EC No. 655/2013). This regulation provides 6 common criteria that should be followed. Basically, each claim made on the label should be substantiated.

The adoption of common criteria for cosmetic claims was the most important step of the implementation of Article 20 of the Cosmetics Regulation (CPR)[1]. Most products today contain, mostly for marketing purposes, one or more of the following categories of claims:

Claims characterizing ingredients or product functions (e.g. ‘anti-aging’);

Claims related to the product’s efficacy (e.g. ‘total block sunscreen’);

Claims highlighting the absence of substances (e.g. ‘fragrance free’);

Claims addressing skin compatibility of the product (e.g. ‘hypoallergenic’, ‘for sensitive skin’);

Claims addressing health or additional benefits other than the cosmetic purpose

On 3 July 2017, annex III, ‘Free from’ claims, was added to EC No. 655/2013, and should be applicable as of

1 July 2019. More details and examples found in the table below. 1 July 2019. More details and examples found in the table below.

How does it impact us?

with regards to preservatives, there are a few points to highlight:

Parabens-Free (and similar) are no longer allowed as a claim: as long as the ingredient is legal for use, this claim is forbidden.

‘Preservative free’ is no longer allowed as a claim: if until now materials with anti-microbial properties not in Annex V could be used to justify this claim (such as Caprylyl Glycol, Phenyl Propanol, and others), this is no longer the case. So, although we could continue to provide many preservative solutions which are not listed in Annex V (such as Sharomix™ CPP, CPA or Sharon™ Biomix FREE ), the claim on the packaging of the final product should be re-considered.





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