Report on the development, validation and legal acceptance of methods alternative to animal testing in the field of cosmetics (2018)

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2019) 479
Publication Date 15/10/2019
Content Type ,


Report presented on 15 October 2019 by the European Commission on progress made in the development, validation and acceptance of methods alternative to animal testing.

Further information:

This is the thirteenth Commission report under Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products (the Cosmetics Regulation). The report includes information on:

  • progress made in the development, validation and acceptance of methods alternative to animal testing;
  • the Commission’s progress on obtaining the OECD’s acceptance of the alternative methods validated at EU level;
  • progress on third-country recognition of the results of safety tests carried out in the EU using alternative methods;
  • the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


The animal testing of finished cosmetic products has been prohibited in the EU since 11 September 2004, and the testing of cosmetic ingredients since 11 March 2009 (testing ban). Since the testing ban, the marketing in the EU of cosmetic products and their ingredients which have been tested on animals has also been prohibited (marketing ban). This marketing ban applied to all but the most complex human health effects that needed to be tested to demonstrate the safety of cosmetic products in the absence of alternative non-animal tests.

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union decided that the marketing ban would take effect on 11 March 2013. On that date, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the animal testing and marketing ban and on the state of play in relation to alternative methods in the field of cosmetics, and confirmed the Commission’s commitment to maintaining the 2013 deadline. Therefore, the marketing ban became fully applicable as of 11 March 2013, irrespective of the availability of alternative non-animal tests.

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