WRITTEN QUESTION No. 2726/98 by Mary BANOTTI to the Commission. Soap containing mercury
OJ C 135, 14.5.1999, p. 105 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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WRITTEN QUESTION E-2726/98
by Mary Banotti (PPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1998)
Subject: Soap containing mercury
Can the Commission inform me if skin-whitening soaps containing mercury are still being produced for export from the EU? Can the Commission inform me in which Member States the manufacture of this banned product continues?
Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission
(30 September 1998)
The safety of cosmetic products marketed in the Community is ensured by the provisions of Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products(1) (the Cosmetics Directive). The use of mercury and its compounds in cosmetic products marketed in the Community is prohibited through the provisions of Annex II, "List of substances which must not form part of the composition of cosmetic products".
The Cosmetics Directive refers to the placing on the market of cosmetic products in the Community. There are no provisions that cover the manufacture of cosmetic products for export to third countries. Rather, the marketing of products in third countries is considered a matter for the legislation of the appropriate authority holding jurisdiction in the country in question.
Further, the Cosmetics Directive does not require the notification of manufacturing sites that produce products intended solely for export to third countries. Therefore, the Commission is not in a position to address the question of whether skin whitening mercury based soaps are still in production for export from the Community.
(1) OJ L 262, 27.9.1976.