Manufacturing or selling cosmetic products

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you manufacture or sell cosmetic products in the Netherlands? You must be able to prove these products are safe. Cosmetics are personal care products that come directly in contact with the skin or hair, such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, perfumes, and makeup. These products must comply with the European Cosmetics Regulation and the Dutch 2011 Commodities Act Decree cosmetic products (in Dutch).

Demonstrating product safety

If you manufacture cosmetic products, you must keep to production standards (NEN-EN-ISO 22716). This ensures that you work hygienically and use good-quality raw materials. As a manufacturer or importer of cosmetics, you must be able to demonstrate that your products are safe. You can do so by having a safety assessment carried out by for instance a toxicologist or cosmetic chemist. The safety assessment must be available for inspection by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).


You must ensure you use safe ingredients. Ingredients may for instance not be carcinogenic or toxic. The EU database CosIng offers information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. This database enables easy access to data on these substances, including legal requirements and restrictions.

Labelling cosmetic products

Cosmetic product labelling must include information such as the manufacturer, the product’s effect, quantity, ingredients, conditions of use, warnings, and shelf life.

Product information

Manufacturers or suppliers of cosmetic products must be able to provide information about the product in a technical file. If the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA) asks you for specific product information, you must give this information within 3 working days.

Animal testing

Animal testing for cosmetics is banned in the European Union. This includes:

  • animal testing for cosmetics
  • animal testing for the ingredients of cosmetics
  • trading in cosmetic products which have been tested on animals


Before you manufacture a cosmetic product or if you are the first to import it into the European Union, you must send a notification to the European Commission via the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP). This also applies to cosmetic products that contain 'new' nanomaterials.

Requesting an export certificate

If you want to export cosmetic products outside of the European Union, you need an export certificate. You can request an export certificate (in Dutch) from the NVWA.