The COSMOS-standard certification was officially launched during the Biofach-Vivaness fairs held on February 16-19 in Nuremberg.

The COSMOS-standard is the result of a long negotiation initiated in 2002 between some of Europe’s leading certification bodies, after they recognised the need to harmonise their separate standards and certification schemes. The goal is to better address the needs of European consumers, who are a bit confused by the profusion of standards and logos, and to avoid the need for a double or triple certification for manufacturers of natural and organic cosmetics. “Both the cosmetics industry and the cosmetics market are international and companies and consumers will be best served by a single standard,” argues Francis Blake, president of the Board of COSMOS-standard AISBL, the association whose object is to promote and manage the pan-European standard for natural and organic cosmetics.

The application for certification to COSMOS-standard is now opened for members and licensees of the five founders (BDIH, COSMEBIO, ECOCERT Greenlife, ICEA and SOIL Association) through the corresponding certification bodies. However, the COSMOS-standard will soon be opened for other certification bodies. Opening for application from those certification bodies is planned for April.

Between them, the COSMOS-standard founding members represent over 1400 certified cosmetic brands and more than 24,000 products sold in over 40 countries worldwide.

COSMOS-standard certified products will be labelled with the signature “COSMOS ORGANIC” or “COSMOS NATURAL”, depending on their certification level, in conjunction with the seal of the certification body involved. They are expected to hit shelves in spring/summer 2011.