On September 21, 2016, the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) has confirmed that there will be no exception to the ban on animal testing for any cosmetic product, even if the tests have been conducted anywhere in the world after March 11, 2013.
Presently, cosmetic products which are tested on animals are forbidden to be placed on the EU market. However, the European Federation for Cosmetics Ingredients (EFfCI), an industry association which advocates the collective interests of European ingredient manufacturers, sought clarification on the regulation regarding tests done outside of the EU. EFfCI brought the case to the ECJ after three companies, which used animal tests to substantiate the safety of their products in Japan and China, expressed interest in exporting their products to the EU.
Despite the French government’s support to the group, the court decided that there would be no distinction as to where the testing was conducted. Ruling otherwise would seriously compromise the testing ban. The motivation behind the ban was to promote the use of alternative methods to evaluate their products’ safety.
Part of the victory in upholding the cosmetics ban on animal testing is credited to the animal rights groups who were given permission to intervene in the case, namely Cruelty Free International and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.
As for the implication of Brexit on the animal testing ban for cosmetics, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) stresses that the UK cosmetics industry shall continue following the status quo in the EU.