The ban applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals was carried out. The 27 EU countries have had a ban on such tests in place since 2009. But the EU Commission is now asking the EU's trading partners to do the same.
The anti-vivisection group BUAV and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) said they had spent more than 20 years campaigning on the issue, enlisting celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Morrissey and Ricky Gervais.
While congratulating the EU Commission for putting the ban into effect BUAV says over 80% of the world continues to allow animal tests for cosmetics which is why is why it has founded Cruelty Free International to campaign for a global ban.
Adds the BUAV: "It's time for the world to end animal testing for cosmetics forever, and we are delighted that The Body Shop and their brand activist Leona Lewis are supporting our campaign."
Watch Leona's new video below: