Press Release

Department of Health and Children announces transfers of the competent authority role with regard to cosmetics from the Department of Health and Children to the Irish Medicines Board (IMB)

The Department of Health and Children announced today (Friday 1 October, 2010) the commencement of Article 11 of the Irish Medicines Board (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 which transfers the competent authority role with regard to cosmetics from the Department of Health and Children to the Irish Medicines Board (IMB).

The IMB will now be responsible for the regulation of cosmetics in Ireland and ensuring compliance with legislation. As the Competent Authority for cosmetics, the IMB will perform a range of activities including: cosmetic product notifications and generation of Certificates of Free Sale; ensuring the operation of an effective and broad reaching market surveillance programme; and participation in international activities including relevant EU working groups.

The transfer to the IMB will facilitate a more pro-active and engaged approach to regulation of the cosmetics sector. The IMB has significant experience and international recognition as a regulator and has demonstrated that working with a sector can bring about improvements in standards so that Ireland continues to be seen as an effectively regulated, high quality venue for particular industries, including cosmetics manufacture. As an established regulator in the area of medicines and medical devices, the IMB has strong links to other regulatory authorities in other countries, some of which may also have regulatory responsibilities for cosmetics.

In addition, the IMB has significant scientific, clinical and technical expertise which will be available to cosmetics manufacturers as part of the IMB’s advisory role as regulator. In the areas of medicines and medical devices, the IMB has also facilitated information briefings for stakeholders, which promotes sharing of information and improved standards within the industries. These benefits would also be available to the cosmetics industry. The IMB also has experience in dealing with cosmetics through its Classification Committee where borderline products are discussed in terms of their appropriate classification as either cosmetics, medicines or medical devices.

Mr Pat O’Mahony, Chief Executive of the IMB, welcomed the decision of the Minister to appoint the IMB as Competent Authority for cosmetics. “The IMB has been working closely with the Department of Health and Children in preparation for this and we are delighted to progress to the stage of formal transfer. We are looking forward to developing our role in the regulation of cosmetic products and, in particular, our interaction with all stakeholders.”