An image depicting cosmetics products to represent the new UK Cosmetics Regulation

Beyond Brexit: Guardpack Examines New UK Cosmetics Regulation

Since the initial referendum decision back in 2016, heated debate has raged within UK business circles. This has, at several points over the last four years, even bubbled over into more mainstream media discourse. Questions over border checks, fisheries and general administrative ‘red tape’ have become increasingly common and, unfortunately, increasingly ill-tempered. Within this highly politicised and charged era you’d be forgiven, if amidst all that confusion, you’d overlooked some of the regulatory changes and ‘on-the-ground’ realities brought about as of January 1st, this year.

The new UK cosmetics regulations are one such change. Previously, the UK remained covered by EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. Now that we’ve left the EU, however, there’s an entirely new UK Cosmetics Regulation that cosmetics businesses must adhere to. The team here at Guardpack, established suppliers of wet wipes and sachets, both here and in the EU, wanted to examine the new regulation in a little more detail. Keeping on top of regulations is difficult enough at the best of times, let alone when you factor in an event like Brexit. With Guardpack, though, we’ll handle the stresses of registering a product for you, and do so in compliance with the most up-to-date regulations.

The Main Regulatory Changes

What has changed under the new UK Cosmetics Regulation? For the most part, the paperwork looks similar to that of its European counterpart; the UK Government clearly taking inspiration from the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”… The key takeaways worth noting, though, are as follows:

Submit Cosmetic Product Notification (SCPN) Portal

The new regulation dictates that any and every cosmetics product has to be notified via this portal before legally being allowed to be placed onto the British market. This notification has to be carried out by the RP (Responsible Person) just as with EU legislature. It’s worth noting (and indeed emphasising) that in most circumstances, unless the client owns the formula, themselves, the manufacturer should act as the RP due to the confidential nature of information relating to the formula. The new portal can be found here.

What Is The Role Of The Responsible Person?

The role of the RP can be broken down into several key parts, which go as follows:

  1. Notify product on respective portal (EU – CPNP & UK – SCPN).
  2. Notify product with the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).
  3. Ensure product claims are both valid and legal.
  4. Make publically available any relevant product information.
  5. Identify the supply chain.
  6. Report any Serious Undesirable Effects (SUEs).
  7. Establish an appropriate recall policy.
  8. Check product labelling, instructions, warnings, etc.
  9. Provide access to any EU or UK competent authority where the Product Information File (PIF) is kept within a timely fashion (i.e. 72 hours).

Why Choose Guardpack To Register Your Product?

If you couldn’t already tell from the list above, registering a product can be a hassle, and that’s before you even factor in getting your head around the new post-Brexit regulations! At Guardpack, we’ll not only register your products free-of-charge, but subsequently act as your RP either here or in the EU (provided that our address is given on the packaging). Ticking regulatory boxes can often feel like wading through treacle; slow, laborious and a vacuum on your energies. It’s a burden your business can be doing without, so let our company take care of it for you!

What About Products Already Notified On The EU Portal?

A 90-day period has been granted in order to notify those products already registered on the CPNP, onto the new UK equivalent – the SCPN. That gives all cosmetic products available in the UK market prior to January 2021 until 31st March 2021 to complete the new notification.


What were formerly classed as ‘distributors’ under EU regulation; those businesses bringing cosmetic products into the UK from EU member states, are now ‘importers’. As such, they by default become a Responsible Person. Appointing a distributing agent in an EU member state is an appropriate way for businesses to circumvent this potential pitfall. Here at Guardpack, for instance, we made the decision almost two years ago now to register a Dublin-based office. This enables us to prepare for the changes Brexit would bring about. For a more in-depth document detailing the recent regulatory changes, click here. Be warned, however, there’s a lot of technical jargon to wade through!

The Price Of Incompliance

If you don’t notify the OPSS about your cosmetic product, then you might face a £5,000 fine and three months’ worth of imprisonment. From the EU side of things, a failure to notify products on the EU Cosmetic Product Notification Portal will lead to said products being withdrawn from the market and, again, the threat of further actions from the EU member state in the form of fines or enforcement.

Simply put, then, regulatory incompliance isn’t something you want to risk! Fortunately, asides from the introduction of the new portal, none of the recent changes have been all that drastic. In other words, the chances of incompliance now aren’t all that different from when the UK acted under EU regulation. We’d let this serve as a reminder, however, of just how important that compliance is. That applies whatever regulatory framework you’re working under!

Other Considerations

As it stands, the effects of Brexit are being compounded by those of the Coronavirus. Supply chains (across all industries, not just cosmetics) are seeing considerable disruption, globally. Importing delays and confusion surrounding new customs arrangements mean that switching to a local supplier is something seriously worth considering.

Beyond the purely altruistic motivation behind “shopping local”, so to speak, i.e. knowing that you’re helping a business close to home – it currently makes shrewd business sense, as well. With over two decades’ worth of industry experience, here at Guardpack we know that even the seemingly smallest of changes can have major impacts on your business, down the line. Our advice? Preparedness. Read up on the new rules and don’t get caught out!

Contact Guardpack

Getting clear on any new regulatory compliance is crucial, unless you want to fall afoul of monetary fines, or worse still, charged with criminal charges. If you’d like to find out more about the new UK Cosmetics Regulation from a business that lives and breathes it, then pick up the phone! Better still, why not register your cosmetics product through us!

Alternatively, if you just want to learn more about our various other services, ranging from the supply of personalised wet wipes to bespoke cosmetics sachets, then get in touch! Contact Guardpack today on 01245 505 807 or email us at

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