Monday, October 25, 2021European Commission

Europe notifies WTO of changes to "Contains formaldehyde" warning

L'Europe notifie à l'OMC des modifications pour la mention "Contient du formaldéhyde"

On 14 October 2021, the European Union transmitted to the WTO a draft Regulation to introduce changes in the labelling rules for cosmetic products containing formaldehyde releasers. They concern both the wording of the warning and the threshold above which it must appear on labels. These changes in the Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 are expected to be adopted in the 2nd quarter of 2022.

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Notification Date

14 October 2021

Products covered

Cosmetic products; Cosmetics. Toiletries (ICS 71.100.70)

Title of the notified document

Draft Commission Regulation amending the preamble of Annex V to Regulation (EC) No.1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cosmetic products


The draft Commission Regulation aims at amending the existing provision for labelling cosmetic products that contain formaldehyde releasers, taking into account the advice of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) of 7 May 2021 on this matter. In particular, lowering the current threshold for labelling formaldehyde releasers from 0.05% to 0.001% in order to further protect consumers sensitised to formaldehyde.


Protection of human health or safety

The text of the future regulation


  1. The substance formaldehyde (CAS No.50-00-0, EC No.200-001-8) has been classified as a carcinogen (Category 1B) and a skin sensitizer (Category 1) in Part 3 of Annex VI to Regulation (EC) No.1272/20082. According to Article 15 of Regulation (EC) No.1223/2009, substances classified as carcinogenic of category 1B in that Annex are to be prohibited from use in cosmetic products. Therefore, the use of formaldehyde as such has been prohibited in cosmetic products and is currently listed in entry 1577 of Annex II to …

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