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No Exception Made for EU Law on Animal-Tested Cosmetics Ingredients

Legislation in the European Union makes no distinction depending on where the animal testing was carried out.

PARIS – The European Union’s Court of Justice on Wednesday reaffirmed its position prohibiting the marketing of cosmetics products in the EU zone containing ingredients tested on animals.

The European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFfCI) trade association had brought an action before British courts to establish if three of its members – which had conducted animal testing outside of the European Union so cosmetics containing certain ingredients could be sold in China and Japan – would incur criminal penalties were they to sell those same products in Britain.

The EFfCI had claimed that the law is not breached if the animal testing was done to meet laws of third countries. The High Court of Justice in England and Wales and the Queen’s Bench Division administrative court in the U.K. then brought the subject to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

That court, in turn, said the placing of a cosmetics product on the EU market may be prohibited if its testing on animals was conducted outside the European Union in order to sell the product in third countries and where the results of that testing are used to prove the item’s safety in the region.

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Animal testing on finished cosmetics product has been illegal in the European Union since September 2004, while the testing ban on ingredients or the combination of cosmetics ingredients has been in effect in the region since March 2009.