Distance sales: Article 19 of the General Product Safety Regulation applies to cosmetics

January 8, 2024. In May 2023, the European Union published the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR). It applies as of December 13, 2024, to products not regulated by sectorial legislation. The GPSR replaces the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) and includes requirements for matters that were not addressed by the Directive, such as distance sales, e.g., e-commerce. In particular, Article 19 GPSR establishes the information economic operators shall indicate in the offers of products made available on the EU market through online or other distance sales means.

Distance sales: information to display

Cosmetic products placed on the EU market through any methods, including online sales, shall fully comply with the EU Cosmetics Regulation (CPR). Additionally, cosmetics sold via distance sales must meet the requirements of Article 19 GPSR as it concerns aspects not covered by the CPR. Hence, Article 19 GPSR is complementary to Article 19 CPR on labelling requirements.

In November 2023, Cosmetics Europe published a guidance document for the industry on how Article 19 GPSR applies to cosmetic products. Below is a summary of the main points.

Article 19 GPSR provides that distance sales offers should display clearly and visibly the following information:

  1. Manufacturer’s name, postal and electronic address (email or website). For cosmetic products, it means the offer must include the Responsible Person details, even if in abbreviated form.
  2. Information to identify the product, including a picture, its type, and any other identifier. Type refers to the product function as defined in the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Moreover, the offer should describe available shades and sizes, the product name, line, and trademark (when relevant).
  3. Warning or safety information in a language easily understood by consumers, namely the particular precautions for use specified in the annexes to the EU Cosmetics Regulation, and those identified by the safety assessor. This information should be translated into the national languages of the countries where the products are sold.

The above elements do not need to be shown separately if they are readable in the picture of the product.


Cosmetics Europe guidance document also clarifies who is responsible for compliance with Article 19 GPSR. The responsibility is shared between the Responsible Person and the distance sales retailer. Therefore, the RP has to provide the information and keep it updated; the retailer must display the information received online or at the point of sale.

Furthermore, on online sales, Article 22 GPSR specifies obligations of providers of online marketplaces related to product safety.

Do you want to know more about cosmetics labelling? Check our Library of Documents or contact us.


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