Every cosmetic product sold in the European Union must have a legal representative called a Responsible Person. This person can be a company or an individual. The EU responsible person service ensures that all the rules the European Cosmetics Regulation sets are followed.
What to do if You Don’t Have a Responsible Person
If you make cosmetics but don’t have an office in the European Union, you could open one and hire someone to be your Responsible Person. However, this could end up very costly and hard to set up.
You could also talk to your importer or distributor, who has a physical presence and could therefore act as the Responsible Person for your products. This seems to be the best choice. But most importers don’t want to take on this role for these core reasons:
Lack of qualifications: The Responsible Person must be an expert in regulatory and legal affairs, chemistry & pharmaceutical sciences in order to represent and defend your brand, perform regulatory monitoring, and make sure your product is compliant.
Lack of language and communication skills: The Responsible Person needs strong language and communication skills to handle interactions with customers and the 27 National Competent Authorities in the 24 official languages.
Time investment: Most importers are experts at marketing and sales and have little to no interest in doing things other than what they do best.
Now, if you want to sell cosmetics in the UK, you have to have a Responsible Person with offices in the country. If you sell in both the EU and the UK, you need to make sure that your Responsible Person is present in both territories.
Before starting any business talks with European importers and distributors, hiring an independent, qualified EU Responsible Person Service is strongly recommended.
What a Responsible Person Does
It’s not always easy to find the right Responsible Person. Even though a lot of companies say they are qualified for this job, only a small number of them can really do it.
This business partner must be able to do the following tasks:
- Protect your brand from problems with compliance.
- Help you with questions about the law that are related to the European Cosmetics Regulation.
- Keep a close eye on changes and additions to regulations and keep you updated by giving you assessments that explain in detail how these changes might affect your products.
- Answer all the questions from the National Competent Authorities (twenty-seven EU Member States plus the United Kingdom).
- Manage all of the inspections of cosmetics that the Supervisory Competent Authorities have decided to do.
- Handle all cosmetovigilance issues (unwanted side effects) by following up with consumers and making sure the best course of action is taken.
- Keep records of all cosmetic products.
List of Things a Company Must Pay Attention to When Hiring a Responsible Person
For this role, a Responsible Person needs to have specific skills. Before choosing your Responsible Person, you should always check a number of criteria.
➤Technical skills: Regulatory experts with relevant work experience in the cosmetics industry and toxicologists who are qualified as “Safety Assessor” are considered to be a must.
➤Communication talent: There are 24 official languages in the European Union, and many inspectors from the National Competent Authorities will only talk to the Responsible Person in their native language. It’s important to be able to understand what the authorities are asking, and being able to answer in the same language is an excellent way to show good faith and make it easier to solve legal problems.
➤Responsiveness: When the Competent Authorities find a legal, regulatory, or safety issue or when a random check is done, it is vital to be responsive. Accurate answers should always be given within one business day, and appropriate technical evidence should be sent right away.
EU responsible person service must be chosen wisely, and ensure you are not running a cosmetic business without it.