various cosmetic articles. Copyright by Austrian Ecolabel.

New labelling obligation for fragrances

The EU Commission recently published a regulation that will improve transparency about fragrance allergens in cosmetics.

Fragrances are organic compounds that are often used in perfumes and other scented cosmetics, but often also in detergents, fabric softeners and other household products. However, many fragrances can cause allergies. If someone is sensitised to such an allergen, a low concentration is enough to cause allergy symptoms.

It is estimated that one to nine percent of the population in the Union is allergic to allergenic fragrances. Therefore, the EU Commission has now published a new regulation governing the declaration of fragrances. The various measures aim to protect the entire population from developing fragrance allergies (primary prevention) and sensitised individuals from developing allergy symptoms (secondary prevention).

The regulation means that cosmetics manufacturers will in future have to declare the additional fragrance allergens that were classified as a concern in the SCCS opinion of 2012(!). Furthermore, the additional fragrance allergens must be declared in the list of ingredients that must be affixed to the cosmetic product or in a (physical) package insert (no digital labelling) - i.e. similar to the 26 fragrance allergens that must already be declared today. (Note: The new transparency obligation also applies to detergents).

This marks the end of more than a decade of discussion on how to improve transparency for consumers - the only drawback being the transition periods: manufacturers are not obliged to comply with the new rules for three years, while existing stocks can remain on the market for up to five years (the industry had demanded an indefinite sales period...). Nevertheless, the decision to increase transparency on fragrance allergens is overall an excellent - if overdue - win for consumers!

You can read the regulation here: EUR-Lex - 32023R1545 - EN - EUR-Lex (

The Austrian Ecolabel as a pioneer

In the Ecolabel for cosmetics and animal care products, these fragrance components are already banned from the year 2021 onwards from the limits at which they must then be declared. Children's products must not contain any fragrances at all.

So we are always in the vanguard of legislation and also help to ensure that the laws are actually introduced, even if very late.