The European single market is one of the EU’s greatest achievements. It has fuelled economic growth and made the everyday life of European businesses and consumers easier. A manufacturer can only place a product on the EU market when it meets all the applicable requirements. The conformity assessment procedure is carried out before the product can be sold. The Commission’s main objective is to help ensure that unsafe or non-compliant products do not reach the market.

Legislation on the single market for goods aims to ensure that products placed on the EU market meet high health, safety and environmental requirements and that products allowed to be sold in the EU can circulate without barriers to trade, and with a minimum of administrative burden.

Liability, the responsibility to pay for damages, is placed on the producer. A producer is either a manufacturer of a finished product or a component part of a finished product, producer of any raw material, or any person who presents himself as a manufacturer (for example by affixing a trademark). Importers placing products on the Union market from third countries are all considered to be producers under the Directive on product liability.

Manufacturers are required to match a level of protection for the users of the products which corresponds to the use that the manufacturer prescribes for the product in the product information.

In the EU Consumers of cosmetic and personal care products are protected by safety requirements described in cosmetics legislation. At the same time, manufacturers should use science and latest available research data to prove the safety of a cosmetic product before it is placed on the market. Some cosmetic products deserve special attention from regulators due to their scientific complexity or higher potential risk to consumer health.