PARIS — Europe came closer to creating a standardized classification system for organic and natural cosmetics last week.

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The European Cosmetics Standards Working Group, which comprises the U.K.’s Soil Association, France’s Cosmebio and Ecocert, Belgium’s Bioforum, Germany’s BDIH and Italy’s ICEA classification bodies, agreed upon common requirements for certification labels dubbed COSMOS-Organic and COSMOS-Natural.

A draft of the agreement will be open for public consultation until Jan. 4 and the common standards will come into force March 30.

As well as fulfilling other requirements, to qualify as organic under the COSMOS-Organic label, at least 20 percent of the total cosmetics product in question must be organic and at least 95 percent of physically processed agroingredients (plant, animal or microbial products obtained from agriculture, aquaculture or wild collection and harvesting) used in its manufacture must be organically produced.

Once the standards become manifest, certified brands will be able to carry a COSMOS label alongside those of one of the founding bodies.

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