Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal - STF) last week validated the provisions of the law of the State of Rio de Janeiro prohibiting the use of animals to develop and test perfumes, cosmetics, and personal care and home care products. The Court ruled by 10 votes to 1 that this subject does fall within the jurisdiction of member states of the Brazilian federation, which have the ability to vote their own legislation to protect consumers and the environment.

However, the Court invalidated the provisions of the law prohibiting cosmetic products that would have been tested on animals in other states to be placed on the market in Rio de Janeiro. The Court also invalidated dispositions requiring that cosmetic products sold in Rio de Janeiro be labeled with the mention “not tested on animals.” The judges ruled, by 6 votes to 5, that in these provisions do not comply with the Brazilian constitution which provides that interstate commerce and the labeling of consumer goods fall under the jurisdiction of the federal state.

This ruling follows a Direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI) filed by the Brazilian Association of Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Industry (ABIHPEC) against Law 7814/2017 of the State of Rio de Janeiro. According to the association, Rio’s text was at odds with federal provisions authorizing the use of animals for scientific research.

The court considered the purpose of the federal law was different. Furthermore, Brazil’s Supreme Court had already recognized the constitutionality of similar provisions voted by the state of Amazonas. According to the Court, in the absence of a federal law to regulate the matter, state laws only establish a higher level of protection for wildlife, within the framework of competencies defined by the Brazilian constitution.