The purpose of the Swedish system of surveillance of cosmetics and hygiene products is, as far as possible, to prevent the use of products causing harm to people or damage to the environment.
The Swedish rules are primarily intended for all manufacturers, importers and vendors of cosmetics and hygiene products. The controlling authorities are the Swedish Medical Products Agency and relevant local authorities.
The Swedish Ordinance on Cosmetics and Hygiene Products (SFS 1993:1283) provides the following definition:
“Cosmetics and hygiene products shall mean any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning or perfuming them, changing their appearance, correcting body odours, protecting them, or keeping them in good condition.”
This definition corresponds to the definition of “a cosmetic product” in the Cosmetics Directive (76/78/EEC). Thus, this implies that the term used in the Swedish legislation is equivalent to the term used in the Cosmetics Directive.
The Swedish Medical Products Agency and the local authorities control that the regulations are followed. The surveillance by the Medical Products Agency consists of inspections of manufacturers and importers, control of product labelling, written questionnaires, chemical analyses of products, etc. Furthermore, the Agency investigates adverse reactions of products reported by physicians.
Companies that do not comply with the regulations will be required to make improvements. The controlling authorities may in certain cases decide to impose a ban on the sale of a product.