China seeks to impose tougher standards on cosmetics industry

China seeks to impose tougher standards on cosmetics industry

One hundred cosmetics ingredients could be banned in China if the country’s Food and Drug Administration passes its latest legislation redraft.

The government has issued its second redraft of the legal standards imposed on both domestic manufacturers of cosmetics and foreign importers.

The new laws proposed in the ‘Complete Technical Safety Standard for Cosmetics’ would ban 100 ingredients in both domestically manufactured and imported cosmetics.

The regulation also proposes to classify oral care products such as toothpaste as cosmetics, meaning that they would be subject to pre-market approval before importation rights would be granted.

The government seeks to publish a list of approved ingredients permitted in cosmetics. It aims to make it illegal for domestic manufacturers to produce cosmetics that contain ingredients that are not included in the ‘Inventory of Existing Cosmetics Ingredients.’

Tough penalties will be imposed on manufacturers found to be producing cosmetics containing unapproved ingredients not included on the inventory.

A fine of 20,000 RMB to 50,000 RMB will be issued if the price of illegal product is less than 10,000 RMB. A fine of 5 to 10 times of the price of illegal products will be made if price of illegal products is more than 10,000 RMB. In severe cases, a rejection of application of cosmetic related certificate will be made to the manufacturer within 5 years.

If a manufacturer seeks to get a new ingredient approved, the government will enforce a four-year trial period before the ingredient could be included on the Inventory list.

New systems for ingredient tracing and safety risk information gathering are also in the pipeline. According to the Chemical Inspection and Regulation Service (CIRS), the new regulations are likely to be enforced by the end of this year or early next year.

The stricter requirements will be unwelcome to foreign companies, which have struggled under increasingly stringent regulations to gain approval for new cosmetic ingredients in China. According to the Chemical Inspection and Regulation Service, since 2004, only ten new substances have been approved.

These include Potassium 4-methoxysalicylate, 9.69% methyl isobutyl thiazolinone, L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate, Garden Pea flower extracts, fructo-oligose, Cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, Dimethoxy methyl phenyl – 4 – propyl benzodiazepines, poly methyl propylene acyl lysine, Phenylethyl Resorcinol and Samara oil.

To view the CIRS report on the regulation, click here.