The European Commission is seizing the opportunity of the implementation of the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) and the subsequent creation of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), to reorganize its scientific advisory structure in the field of consumer safety.

As certain tasks of the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) have been transferred to the new agency based in Helsinki, it was necessary to redefine the scope of its activities.

In addition, the Commission decided to change part of the attributions of the others scientific committees and create a “Pool of scientific advisors on risk assessment”, which will support the activities of the Scientific Committees. The Pool will gather scientific advisors who are experts in one or more of the predefined fields of competence or on related subjects, covering collectively the widest possible range of disciplines

The reorganisation aims to provide increased flexibility and to ensure the scientific committees will be able to provide rapid advice when needed.

As far as cosmetics are concerned, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) is changing name to Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS). The new body will be in charge to provide opinions on questions concerning all types of health and safety risks of non-food consumer products (for example: cosmetic products and their ingredients, toys, textiles, clothing, personal care and household products such as detergents, etc.) and services (for example: tattooing, artificial sun tanning, etc.).

However, the current Committees will remain in office until the new ones take office, probably by the end of the year.

Fields of competence and rules of procedures of the new scientific committees and the pool are laid down in details in the Commission Decision of 5 August 2008 (2008/721/EC) setting up an advisory structure of Scientific Committees and experts in the field of consumer safety, public health and the environment and repealing Decision 2004/210/EC. Click on the image here below to download the full text of the recommendation.

Commission Decision of 5 August 2008 (2008/721/EC)