COSMOS

Australian Certified Organic is the first Asia-Pacific based certifier accredited under the COSMetics Organic and natural Standard (COSMOS) as an approved certifier for Organic and Natural cosmetics as well as cosmetics raw materials, following an accreditation process through the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS).
Cosmetics companies and raw materials manufacturers in the region have access now to a global cosmetics certification scheme recognized worldwide, offered by a highly qualified and respected not for profit organization committed with organic standards.
What is COSMOS standard?
COSMOS standard is the result of a harmonization effort conducted by five leading European certification bodies: BDHI (Germany), Cosmebio (France), Ecocert (France), ICEA (Italy) and Soil Association (UK) with the aim to create a global Organic and Natural Cosmetics Standard. Since its constitution in 2010, the standard has been placed in the hands of COSMOS-standard AISBL, an international non-profit Association.
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The COSMOS-standard is subjected to periodic review and amendment in line with new developments in the organic and natural cosmetics sector, and after full and open consultation with stakeholders.
Last version of the standard can be downloaded here.
Why COSMOS certification?
Combined, the founding members represent over 1,500 certified cosmetic brands and more than 25,000 products sold in over 40 countries world-wide. When the standard takes full effect, COSMOS will become the leading cosmetics certification standard for cosmetics products and raw materials.
Companies in the region can benefit of getting their products certified under a standard that is widely accepted in different markets, which facilitates regulatory and certification requirements.
Certification claims
The steps to achieving approval of product labelling within the certification process are:
  1. Approval by ACO of the product specification.
  2. Submission and approval of the proposed product labelling .
  3. Where the product specification cannot be approved first, the labelling can only be given provisional approval.
  4. Printing of labelling must only be carried out after the certification body has given full approval of the labelling (ACO may make an exception in urgent cases, but this will be at the operator’s risk and in any event such labels must not be placed on the market before the certification process is satisfactorily completed).
  5. If any subsequent changes need to be made to the product or its labelling, details of these must be sent to ACO, who will send written approval and, if appropriate, an updated certificate .
  6. Prior to product launch, the labelling must have been approved and the product must be included on the COSMOS certificate. If labels are printed without approval and are found to be non-compliant, ACO may require withdrawal of those products.
COSMOS Organic
  • Must be labelled with the COSMOS ORGANIC logo below either green or black or white or other colour by special permission. The COSMOS logo should appear on the front of the pack in a clear and prominent position.
  • Must indicate on the label the percentage of organic origin ingredients by weight in the total product, as “x% organic of total”.
  • Must indicate organic ingredients and those made from organic raw materials in the INCI list. This should be limited to the wording: “from organic agriculture” for physically processed agro-ingredients and “made using organic ingredients” for chemically processed agro-ingredients or similar expressions using the same typing as used for the INCI list.
  • May also indicate the percentage of organic origin ingredients by weight in the total product without water and minerals, as “y% organic of total minus water and minerals”.
  • May include their certification number underneath the COSMOS logo or on the label – such as ‘Certification Number XXXX’.
The product must not be called “organic”, for example, “organic shampoo”, unless it is at least 95% organic, measured as a percent of the total product.
For products that are less than 95% organic, it is allowed to make reference to the organic ingredients on the label and in promotional literature, such as “Shampoo with organic jojoba oil”.
COSMOS Natural
  • Must be labelled with the COSMOS NATURAL logo below either blue or black or white or other colour by special permission. The COSMOS logo should appear on the front of the pack in a clear and prominent position.
  • Must indicate organic ingredients and those made from organic raw materials only in the INCI list. This must be limited to the wording: “from organic agriculture” for physically processed agro-ingredients and “made using organic ingredients” for chemically processed agro-ingredients or similar expressions using the same typing as used for the INCI list.
  • Must not make any claim relating to organic, either ingredients or percentages, on the front of the packaging.
  • May indicate the percentage of organic origin ingredients by weight in the total product, as “x% organic of total”
  • May indicate the percentage of organic origin ingredients by weight in the total product without water and minerals, as “y% organic of total minus water and minerals”.
  • May include their certification number underneath the COSMOS logo or on the label – such as ‘Certification Number XXXX’.
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Application and Evaluation Procedure

The general application process is as follows:

  1. Completed application documents are submitted to ACO for review
  2. ACO completes a document review of the application
  3. Once the application is completed and reviewed by the office and onsite audit will be allocated
  4. The auditor will complete the onsite audit
  5. The Certification Office completes a review of the onsite inspection report
  6. Once all outstanding issues have been addressed a COSMOS certificate of compliance is issued
  7. Annual audits (surveillance audits) are required to verify compliance
  8. On successful completion of the annual audit and closure of any corrective actions, a new certificate of compliance is issued

 

COSMOS contractual conditions can be found in the Certification Agreement received in the application information pack.  The associated fees and possible penalties can be found on the fee schedule received in the application information pack. 

 

Operators must comply with the requirements of the COSMOS standard (link provided on this site).  Operators have the right to appeal certification decisions made by ACO, the process is as follows:

  1. The certified operator at all times has the right of appeal of decisions by either the auditor, the CRC (Certification Review Committee) or CO. Such appeals will usually be at the expense of the operator, except where it is shown that fault lies with the CO.
  2. An appeal of a non-compliance decision must be filed within 30 days from the receipt of the notification. Appeals are to be processed based on an application (in writing) from the applicant / Certified Operator concerned OR where the CO deems that an Appeals Committee needs to be enacted on behalf of a client. In the event that the appeals process sustains the client’s appeal, the CO will enter into negotiations with the client to offer reinstatement of certification and endeavour to find agreement with the client on a mutually satisfactory management plan including communication with industry in relation to the matter 

 

Any updates to procedures or regulations will be published on the certification news section of this website. 

 

Operators are required to maintain documentation as outlined in the COSMOS standard.