Safety Assessment for Cosmetics and Soap

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Many suppliers advertise their products are 'safety assessed' and buyers find this confusing.  In the EU manufacturers (that is the person who made the soap, cream etc no matter how large or how small their busness) must have a Certificate signed by a qualified Chemist to say the product is safe before they can legally sell or give away soap or cosmetics.  This is very important because it is a law designed to protect the public.  The law was designed so that every single cosmetic sold in the EU was safe and TRACEABLE.  This means that if Trading Standards get complaints about a product they know who made it, where and what ingredients.  This means they can recall dangerous goods and protect public safety - a very good thing in my view. 


Unfortunately there was a loophole in the law (which fortunately has now come to the notice of the appropriate department) and some suppliers of ingredients have crawled through it.  These suppliers apply for a Safety Assessment for their products then 'sell on' that Assessment to their customers claiming this assessment allows manufacturers to 'legally' sell soap or cosmetics..  That claim is highly dubious but these suppliers market their assessments claiming they are doing a public service by allowing small manufacturers to sell their products without having to go to the trouble of learning how to get their products safety tested.  Now this is illegal.  Every manufacturer must appoint a 'responsible person who has sufficient qualifications or experience of the regulations'.  If a manufacturer does not have sufficient grasp of the reuglations to apply for a safety assessment they could be breaking the law.  Another claim these suppliers make is that manufacturers can save money by buying one of these assessments.  In fact a safety assessment is relatively inexpensive so if a manufacturer goes to a supplier instead of a qualified Chemist to save a few pence, will that manufacturer have taken the precaution of buying product liability insurance?  Probably not.

The only person who wins from one of these assessments is the supplier.  The Chemist loses out because a completely unqualified and uninsured person is selling on their assessments so the Chemist does not get a fee.  The manufacturer is in danger of criminal prosecution or claims for damages.  Remember, even if your trading standards officer allows you to manufacture under such an assessment, the chances are if anyone is injured then you are open to litigation with no recourse to the Chemist's professional indemnity insurance.  This is because the 'contract' is between the Chemist and the supplier, not you.  Cosmetic Chemists have insurance so that if they make a mistake any person injured can sue for damages but the contract regarding these 'sell on' assessments is between the Cosmetic Chemist and the person named on the assessment and that is the supplier not the manufacturer.  This leaves manufacturers open to horrendous financial (or criminal) penalties without any recourse.  If you are a customer and you sustained injuuries you would have to sue the manufacturer who probably does not have adequate insurance.

So how do you know who to buy from:

Don't just ask if that person has a Safety Assessment, check the assessment is in the name of the manufacturer and that the contract was between the Chemist and the Manufacturer not a third party.

Remember, a manufacturer must appoint a responsible person who is familiar with the cosmetic regulations, if they cannot apply for a safety assessment do you want them concocting potions for your skin with sometimes dangerous chemicals?
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