The Network of Official Cosmetics Control Laboratories (OCCL)
The European Network of Official Cosmetics Control Laboratories (OCCLs) brings together specialised laboratories of members and observers to the Convention on the Elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia. It includes countries from Europe and beyond. The OCCL Network was created in June 2010 after a survey of national competent authorities revealed a need to foster cross-border collaboration, share technical expertise and enhance quality management in accordance with international standards. The Terms of Reference of the European Network of OCCLs outline its main objectives, organisation, membership and quality-management system.
The OCCL Network pools resources across laboratories and maximises efficiency and resource use by performing Europe-wide market surveillance studies. Participating laboratories share knowledge and expertise on analytical methods for testing cosmetic products, carry out common testing programmes across Europe, run collaborative studies and share test results, working towards mutual recognition.
This brings great advantages to participating laboratories, as they can benefit from the scientific expertise of other laboratories and have access to specific analytical equipment that may not be available at national level, while also making their own expertise and competencies available to other laboratories. To enquire about membership and projects, contact the OCCL Network Secretariat.
The Network decides its work programme based on the feedback from laboratories themselves, from the European Committee for Cosmetics and Consumer Health (CD-P-COS) and when health issues across the world need to be tackled. All activities offer an opportunity to access knowledge, assess competencies and discuss analytical methods and test results with other laboratories which may be facing similar issues.
Interested in learning more about the activities of the Network or becoming a member? Contact the OCCL Network Secretariat.
Learn more about the activities of the Network.
Co-operation with other European authorities
The OCCL Network also co-operates closely with the EC and the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC). This facilitates agreement on common approaches and efficient sampling strategies for effective consumer safety protection.
In 2014, the OCCL Network, the JRC and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) jointly adopted a common approach for the validation of analytical test methods for cosmetics developed by individual laboratories. The resulting guidelines were a major milestone, establishing a common understanding of Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 and a harmonised testing strategy for cosmetics, based on validated analytical methods.
In addition, the OCCL Network interacts and co-operates with the Platform of European Market Surveillance Authorities for Cosmetics (PEMSAC) in order to safeguard the quality of cosmetic products in the European market.