The Brussels-based European Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (COLIPA) developed the website in response to an amendment to the EU Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC), which now requires all cosmetics companies releasing products into the EU market to provide members of the public, upon request, access to certain specific information on their products.
Betil Heerink, director general of COLIPA stresses, however, that "the site is a voluntary directory introduced by the European cosmetics industry", which over the coming months will aim to increase the number of listings.
According to COLIPA statistics, over one in every 1 million cosmetics units produced results in allegations over its safety - although it concedes that the majority of cases are often 'minor in nature'.
In addition to allowing the public access to contact information of cosmetics companies in European member states (as well as EFTA members Norway and Switzerland) the site also contains a directory of information on products such as ingredient (INCI) listings, and also the quantitative declaration of certain ingredients.
Existing data on the undesirable effects of some cosmetics on human health will also be detailed on the site, as well as the contact information for national EU regulatory authorities.