The COSMOS scheme is a voluntary accreditation for organic and natural cosmetics which was established and is operated by COSMOS-standard AISBL, an international non-profit association registered in Belgium, founded in June 2010 by a group of standards associations: BDIH (Germany), Cosmebio (France), Ecocert Greenlife (France), ICEA (Italy) and Soil Association (UK). The Association’s Bylaws can be viewed on the COSMOS-standard AISBL website.
Accreditation is provided by IOAS or other accreditation bodies approved by COSMOS-standard AISBL. Accreditation is required to be performed in line with ISO IEC 17065.
The COSMOS Accreditation programme is open to any certification body which meets the requirements of the programme and has been pre-approved by the scheme owner. Approved certifiers sign a contract with COSMOS-standard AISBL and join the association as Associate Members. Membership of COSMOS AISBL is a prerequisite of COSMOS authorisation which in turn is a prerequisite to apply to IOAS for assessment. Forms for membership application, application for approval and the certifier contract with COSMOS can be downloaded for free from the COSMOS-standard AISBL web site.
On accreditation, certification bodies are required to conclude a contract with COSMOS-standard AISBL which includes payment of an annual fee. Contact details and approved scopes of the accredited CBs are published on the COSMOS web site.
Certification Bodies applying for approval as COSMOS-standard certifiers must:
- Apply for (associate) membership of COSMOS-standard AISBL;
- have a valid accreditation to perform certification for at least one standard according to ISO/IEC 17065;
- be sufficiently qualified/have experienced staff to perform certification of the scopes for which they are applying;
- have developed clearly defined procedures for certification of the scopes for which they are applying; and
- certify against the COSMOS standard.
The requirements of the scheme are available in the COSMOS Control Manual and are based on the International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies formulated by FAO, IFOAM and UNCTAD under the auspices of the International Task Force on Harmonisation and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture. Once authorised by COSMOS, the certification body must implement inspection/certification of products according to the COSMOS-standard without additional requirements, and/or existing own standards must be fully in accordance with the COSMOS-standard.
Operators can be certified under the following categories:
- Scope 1 – Certification of organic or natural cosmetic products, raw materials with organic content, base
- Scope 2 – Approval of non-organic raw materials that can be used in certified products.
First steps in accreditation are as follows:
Visit the COSMOS web page and review the Application Process For Certification Bodies document to understand the requirements and process of approval.
Contact COSMOS to discuss your eligibility for membership of COSMOS AISBL.
Complete application forms for membership and CB authorisation and pay application fee to COSMOS.
Once accepted for COSMOS membership and authorisation move on to step 2.
- Complete the standard IOAS application form
The IOAS COSMOS Organic Operating Manual provides full guidance on implementation of this scheme.
Fees for IOAS accreditation against the COSMOS scheme are presented in the standard IOAS fee schedule.
All standards and certification requirements are available at the web site of the COSMOS.