France Report of the 2016 In-Market Control Campaign

On June 23rd, 2017, the Market Surveillance Authorities in France (DGCCRF) published a report on the in-market control campaign launched in 2016, which focused on almost 8,000 cosmetic products and 1,527 shops. We are proud to announce that all products evaluated by BIORIUS were considered safe and compliant by the French Authorities.

Out of these 8,000 cosmetic products controlled, the Authorities identified more than 500 compliance issues related to labelling. Furthermore, about 700 products were analyzed and the results were surprisingly disappointing: 37 % of them were not complying with the European legislation and 15 % were unsafe. The Administrative Police intervened in 188 cases and issued fines. A market withdrawal was imposed for more than 100 products and, in 16 cases, the stocks were seized by the Authorities and destroyed. In total, 22 % of the cosmetic products assessed by the French Authorities were affected by, at least, one compliance issue.

Beyond the trivial compliance issues (wrong list of ingredients, absence of legal information, presence of prohibited ingredients, absence of regulatory dossiers, etc.), some important points should be reminded:

Claims:

  • Misleading, non-cosmetic or non-properly substantiated claims are severely punished by the French Authorities.
  • Claims such as “Fragrance free” are carefully evaluated by the Authorities and only accepted in very specific cases (total absence of fragrance, fragrance ingredients and allergens).
  • Claims such as “Paraben free” are received very coldly and should be avoided.
  • Claims highlighting the presence of ingredients actually used in the product at very low concentrations is considered as a serious compliance issue. Likewise, claims extending without any evidence the properties of an ingredient to the product are illegal.
  • Claims that tend to present a cosmetic product as a drug usually lead to serious issues.

Safety and formula:

  • Exceeding the use limits of restricted ingredients can be easily detected by the Authorities and usually leads to serious issues.
  • The French Authorities pay a lot of attention to the presence of heavy metals in cosmetic products and we recommend that analytical test be performed proactively.
  • The French Authorities observe that Product Information Files often miss the manufacturing method. BIORIUS reminds you that this piece of information is important and should be provided spontaneously when the dossier is developed.

Finally, the French Authorities also reported some linguistic issues and insisted on the importance to translate (at least some parts of) the products labels in French.

In 2017, the French Authorities decided to focus on two specific items:

  • The safety evaluation of the cosmetic products (assessment of the regulatory dossiers and qualifications of the safety assessors).
  • The control of nanomaterials (analytical quantifications of nanomaterials and verifications of the related CPNP notifications and lists of ingredients).

Any questions?