Cosmetics: conciliation agreement on animal testing ban

November 8, 2002

Brussels, 07 Nov 2002

After a second conciliation meeting in the night of 6/7November, the European Parliament and the Council reached agreement on the main points of the seventh amendment of the cosmetics directive.

The EP and Council delegations agreed on two key issues of the amended directive: to ban the testing on animals within the EU of cosmetic products and ingredients used in cosmetic products, and to ban sales of such products (which would include those from outside the EU) where the products or the ingredients have been tested on animals.

Clear limits are also defined for the use of carcinogenic and mutagenic substances as well as substances harmful to reproduction.

The ban on animal testing and sales will start immediately where alternative non-animal tests are available. This will be followed by a complete ban six years after the directive enters into force, thereby ending the use of animals in the testing of cosmetic products but without jeopardising consumer safety since alternative ways of testing will have to be developed in the transition period to replace animal testing.

The EP Delegation to the Conciliation Committee was led by Vice-President Giorgos DIMITRAKOPOULOS (EPP-ED, GR) and Parliament's rapporteur was Dagmar ROTH-BEHRENDT (PES, D). After the meeting Mr Dimitrakopoulos said the agreement on the testing and sales ban was well balanced and a fair compromise. Negotiations had been very tough and some issues still had to be resolved.

Mrs Roth-Behrendt sees the outcome of the negotiations as a huge success for Parliament, since it is close to the EP's position at second reading. "I am extremely pleased with this result and proud that Parliament's delegation fought so strongly to defend our position. Now we will have a ban on animal testing and on sales of animal-tested cosmetics in the foreseeable future".The Chairman of the Council Delegation, Danish Environment Minister Hans Christian SCHMIDT, added: "It is of great importance that we can now see an end to animal testing of cosmetic products. I am pleased that we were able to solve the problem during the Danish Presidency. Both Parliament and Member States should be commended for their flexibility. The testing ban on animals within the EU is a great gain for animal welfare. But in order to prevent imports into the Community of products which are tested in third countries, it was also very important that agreement was reached on the sales ban. I am convinced that the ban on sales will in the long run benefit animal welfare outside the EU. All in all we have achieved a well balanced agreement".

The two delegations now have to reach agreement on amendments other than those relating to the testing and sales bans, which they will do next week. Ultimately the agreement will have to be approved by Parliament at third reading and by the Council.

6/7.11.2002 Conciliation Committee        In the chair of the EP delegation: Giorgos DIMITRAKOPOULOS (EPP-ED, GR)       Rapporteur: Dagmar ROTH-BEHRENDT (PES, D)

Press enquiries:Ton Huyssoon - tel. (32-2) 28 42408e-mail:

Lisbet Seedorff, Head of Division, Danish Environmental Protection Agencytel + 45 32 66 02 80

European Parliament News Report 2002-11-07

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