So what is a PIF, why do I need one and how do I make it?
If you are selling your cosmetic products then one of the requirements is that you produce a Product Information File (PIF) for each recipe/product that you make.
It needs to be established before you start selling your products, as it is basically a record of how you made them. Think of it like a big file that you just keep adding to.
It needs to be kept by the Responsible Person (typically the business owner/manufacturer) at an EU address and it can be electronic or any other format. It needs to be easily accessible and should be kept for 10 years after the last batch of products has been made.
So what do you need to include in your PIF?
- a description of your product - what is it? an example would be a Strawberry Soap
- the CPSR - the Cosmetic Product Safety Report. This will be provided by the Safety Assessor and is made up of the Part A Safety Information, and part B the Safety Assessment.
- How did you manufacture your product. This will probably be the same each time and includes a description of what you did. eg, I melted my clear soap base at xx deg C using a microwave/double boiler. Once it had fully melted I added xx ml of named fragrance/essential oil etc etc.
- evidence of following GMP - we have another section about GMP which explains this fully. But you need to be able to show that you have followed these principles.
- have you made any claims about product? are you saying it will banish wrinkles for example. If you are - then you need to prove it.
- data on animal testing. You will need to confirm that your products have not been tested on animals. As Animal Testing on finished products and their respective ingredients has been banned in the EU since 2009 this should not be a problem. Any supplier will be able to provide you with a statement confirming they do not test on animals. Our statement can be downloaded here.
So you can record the data in a spreadsheet, in a document or a hand written book. It is entirely your choice. A spreadsheet is a good idea for recording the making of the product as you can accurately record quantities and amounts.
Remember it is a file that you will be constantly adding to. Each batch of a product that you make needs to be documented and recorded. Why not start with a ring binder that you can put your pieces of paper in. Then you will know where everything is...