30 June 2023 Brussels

Council decision on chemicals classification supports future of natural ingredients used in cosmetics and fragrance

Brussels, 30 June 2023 – On the last day of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Member States endorsed a legislative proposal that would support the future of natural ingredients used in cosmetics and fragrance. Cosmetics Europe and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) welcome this decision as it is in line with the EU’s own ambitions to boost the bio- and circular economies.

Meeting today the Member States’ Permanent Representatives Committee acknowledged the complexity and difficulties arising from the shift of approach proposed by the European Commission for the classification of More than One Constituent Substances (MOCS).

Member States opted to maintain the current approach, introducing a review clause for the European Commission to report to the European Parliament and Council on the applicable articles regarding the classification of MOCS four years following the entry into force of the revised CLP regulation.

“The natural fragrance ingredients used in perfumes, cosmetics, and personal and homecare products are not deliberate ‘mixtures’ – they are substances that occur naturally. These can have hundreds of constituents depending on the geographical origin of the plant, climate conditions, and so on”, said Aurélie Perrichet, Regional Director for Europe, IFRA. “The option the Council has opted for would continue to allow for these MOCS to be classified based on all relevant available scientific data – whether on their individual constituents or on the full substance”.

“From essential oils to plant extracts or absolutes and others, fragrance and cosmetic sectors use natural ingredients to respond to growing societal demand for more natural products, meet the expectations of our consumers and deliver products they value and love”, said John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe. “Cosmetics and fragrance sectors are moving away from fossil-based materials, in line with the overarching objectives of the European Green Deal – and the Council’s decision today supports this collective aim”.

Essential oils, plant extracts and others, such as rose, bergamot, lemon, thyme and others are widely grown across Europe, including in Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland, Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.

“The current approach already achieves the highest standards of consumer safety and any changes to chemicals legislation have cascading effects on consumer products such as cosmetics”, said Mr Chave.

“We hope policy makers across Europe will build on today’s decision to craft an efficient revision of the CLP regulation”, said Ms Perrichet. “This will support more informed decision-making on the future classification rules for substances with more than one constituent”.


Notes for editors


The International Fragrance Association

Charles de Lusignan,

Global Communications Director

cdelusignan@ifrafragrance.org; +32484781176

Cosmetics Europe

Media representatives should address their questions to media@cosmeticseurope.eu.

About the International Fragrance Association

The International Fragrance Association, founded in 1973, represents the interests of the fragrance industry worldwide. IFRA comprises seven multinational Regular Members and 23 national associations in four global regions representing hundreds of small and medium-sized fragrance ingredient manufacturers, as well as supporting members. Its mission is to promote the safe use of fragrance for everyone’s enjoyment.

Fragrances are a key platform technology used by consumer goods companies – for fine fragrances, personal care products, household care and more.

IFRA’s flagship safe use program, the IFRA Standards, applies safety management measures based on scientific assessment and the evaluations of an independent Expert Panel. The program is at the heart of the IFRA Code of Practice, which applies to all IFRA members globally, including members of IFRA’s national associations. The Code also requires members to abide by local, national and international regulation, and to apply good manufacturing practices.

About Cosmetics Europe

Cosmetics Europe is the European trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry. Our members include cosmetics and personal care manufacturers, and also associations representing our industry at national level, right across Europe.

For more than 50 years, Cosmetics Europe has been the authoritative voice of the cosmetics and personal care industry in Europe. Our industry is closely regulated at European level, and for decades we have worked closely with policy makers to ensure that European regulation is as appropriate and effective as possible. As a consequence, our understanding of regulatory processes and how they impact our industry is unrivalled.

Membership of Cosmetics Europe allows associations and companies to truly help shape the regulatory and policy landscape within which our industry must operate.

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