A Makeup Problem

Dan Xu

Dan Xu is a partner and is in charge of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Data Compliance practice.

The Provisions for Management of Cosmetic Registration and Notification Dossiers became effective on May 1, 2021.
Under this law, China calls a halt to the required animal testing on imported ordinary cosmetics. This marks not only a huge step forward towards a cruelty-free cosmetics industry, but also presents a new business opportunity for foreign cosmetic companies.

Ordinary cosmetics
The term ‘ordinary cosmetics’ refers to products of general purpose such as shampoo, shower gel and mascara. Products which have specific claimed purpose, such as ‘anti-aging’, but also sunscreen, hair dyes, and products specifically for children, must still be tested on animals before they can be distributed in China.
Additionally, products containing new ingredients which are still within the initial 3 years required for safety monitoring (a 3 year monitoring period is required for all new raw materials to ensure their safety), or companies for which the notification applicant, domestic responsible person or manufacturer is listed as a key NMPA-supervision target (the NMPA quantitative rating system indicates that the filer, responsible agent or manufacturer is a target for market supervision) are not exempted from animal testing.

Preconditions
Foreign companies are required to obtain a “Good Manufacturing Practices Certificate” issued by the relevant governmental authority where the manufacturing company is located. They also need to provide a safety assessment report offering a full evaluation of the products’ safety.

Business opportunities
China is the second largest beauty market, and boasts significantly increasing consumer spending power. Coupled with the influence from social media and e-commerce, the Chinese beauty market has great potential for foreign companies. However, due to the requirement for animal testing, many foreign cosmetics brands were reluctant to enter the Chinese market. The Provisions should help alleviate these concerns and encourage them either to enter the market or to further expand their market share.

Our experienced legal team can help companies who want to enter the market. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.