Both defective and cosmetic products are notions defined by the European Directives no. 85/374 dated July 25, 1985 and no. 2001/95 dated December 2, 2001 as well as by the European Regulation no. 1223/2009 dated November 30, 2009. What about a case where a cosmetic product happens to be defective? The definition of a "defective cosmetic product" combines the different legal frameworks above-mentioned. It is crucial to understand this as it impacts the resulting liability regime and can raise a number of issues. For instance, would missing information on the labelling, in breach of Regulation no. 1223/2009, be considered as a defect?
Knowing the applicable legal framework is crucial for the "responsible person" who is the first exposed in case a consumer wants to complain about a cosmetics product. Distributors are also at risk. The variety of proceedings that can be initiated and of the types of damages that can be claimed must also be mastered. This helps knowing the defences and grounds of exemptions that a manufacturer can raise, such as the "product development risk" which corresponds to the hypothesis of a producer who could not detect any defect at the time the cosmetic product was placed on the market because the state of scientific knowledge at this time did not enable him to do so.
Contracts and sharing of liabilities between the different members of the manufacturing/distribution chain should also be considered during this presentation.