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Parliamentary questions
27 March 2013
E-000803/2013
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

Although the Commission is not aware of a problem with hair products in Portugal, the Honourable Member should be aware that there is already Union legislation which protects consumers against misleading advertising.

Directive 2005/29/EC(1) requires traders not to mislead consumers, for instance, about the benefits, risks and results to be expected from the use of the product or service offered for sale. Furthermore, the directive prohibits (in all circumstances) the practice of falsely claiming that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations (Annex I n. 17).

Member States are responsible for setting up adequate and effective means to combat unfair commercial practices. However experience has shown a need for improving coordinated enforcement, in particular where a recurring problem arises in different Member States. The Commission's Consumer Agenda(2) therefore states that effective enforcement of EU consumer law is a priority issue for the next years. The Commission adopted a report on the application of Directive 2005/29/EC on 14 March 2013 which provides a list of the most common unfair commercial practices encountered in the Member States.

In the case of cosmetics, Article 20 of the Cosmetics Regulation stipulates that in the labelling, making available on the market and advertising of cosmetic products, text, names, trademarks, pictures and figurative or other signs shall not be used to imply that these products have characteristics or functions which they do not have. However, based on their characteristics and the claims, some hair growth products may be qualified as medicinal products, which are subject to a different legislation(3), which foresees pre-market authorisation.

(1)OJ L 149, 11.6.2005.
(2)COM(2012) 225.
(3)Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use, OJ L 311, 28.11.2001.

OJ C 354 E, 04/12/2013
Last updated: 10 April 2013Legal notice