Biocidal products at the interface with cosmetics

Certain products are at the interface between the product categories of cosmetics and biocidal products. Products are always classified on a case-by-case basis and have to be reviewed as a whole (check on intended use and composition). This overview is designed to provide guidance on classifying products in individual cases.


Biocidal products

According to Art. para. 1 letter a of the Ordinance on Biocidal Products (OBP; SR 813.12), biocidal products are active substances and preparations containing one or more active substances which - in the form supplied to the user - are intended to deter, render harmless, destroy or otherwise exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or biological means or prevent damage caused by harmful organisms; objects which contain or release such active substances and which are intended to act on harmful organisms outside these objects shall be deemed to be biocidal products;


According to Art. 5 letter b of the Foodstuffs Act (LMG; SR 817.0), personal hygiene articles and cosmetics are utility and consumable articles ("utility articles") unless marketed as therapeutic products. According to Art. 35, para. 1 of the Ordinance on Foodstuffs and Commodities (LGV SR.817.02), cosmetics are defined as substances or preparations that, when used as intended, come into contact with various external parts of the human body (skin, hair system, nails, lips and the outer genital regions) or with the teeth or the mucous membranes of the mouth. The purpose of cosmetics is exclusively or mainly to protect, maintain the good condition of, cleanse, perfume, alter the appearance of or deodorise these parts of the body.

A non-exhaustive sample list of cosmetics is provided in annex 1 to the Ordinance on Cosmetics (VKos, SR 817.023.31).

Last modification 23.08.2023

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