New ECJ ruling: indication of intended use & precautions for use of cosmetic products
ECJ, Judgment of 17.12.2020, C-667/19 - Intended use of a cosmetic product and indications concerning special precautions for use - Consumer language and product catalog.
The decision is based on the case of the owner of a Polish beauty salon who purchased American cosmetic products from a sales representative whose packaging did not indicate the intended use. Instead, there was a symbol depicting a hand with an open book, referring to the catalog in Polish. She therefore rescinded the purchase contract after receiving the goods, and the ECJ clarified that the indication of the intended use of the cosmetic product must appear on the packaging if it is not apparent from the presentation. In this regard, the referring court was called upon to decide whether the average consumer could recognize the intended use.
However, the reference to a catalog in the language of the consumer, in this case Polish, is not sufficient for the obligatory indication of special precautions for the use of the product.
How are the regulations to be interpreted?
"Art. 19 para. 1 lit. F of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30.11. 2009 on cosmetic products must be interpreted as meaning that the indication of 'intended use of a cosmetic product' which, under that provision, must appear on the container and packaging of such a product must be capable of clearly informing the consumer of the application and method of use of the product in order to ensure that consumers may use it safely and without detriment to their health and that, therefore, that indication cannot be limited to a mere statement of the purposes pursued by the use of the product within the meaning of Article 2(1)(A) of that regulation." A of that regulation. It is for the referring court to determine, on the basis of the characteristics and properties of the cosmetic product concerned and the expectations of an average consumer who is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, the nature and extent of the information which must appear on the container and packaging of the product in order for it to be used without risk to human health.
Article 19(2) of Regulation No 1223/2009 is to be interpreted as meaning that the particulars referred to in Article 19(1)(D) D, f and g of that regulation, that is to say, the particulars relating to the special precautions for use of the cosmetic product, its intended purpose and its ingredients, cannot be noted in a company catalog to which the symbol referred to in point 1 of Annex VII to that regulation, affixed to the packaging or container of the product, refers."