Cosmetic Compliance
Intelligence & Solutions
Regulations on Cosmetics Containing Wild Fauna and Flora in China
Mar 30, 2021
ChemLinked Cosmetic Team
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CONTENTS

On Dec 25, 1980, China joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals through controlling the international trade. Since that time, China has played a prominent role in bilateral, regional, and international cooperation in the implementation of the Convention. For the cosmetic sector, any imported cosmetics containing wild fauna and flora listed in the CITES shall obtain a Certificate of Permission from the Office of Import and Export of Endangered Species apart from the cosmetic filing/registration certificate from the NMPA. If the wild fauna and flora contained is excluded or exempted from the CITES, a Certificate of Species is mandatory instead.

1. Regulatory Overview

China legally classified cosmetics containing wild fauna and flora as two categories:

1) Cosmetics containing endangered species of wild fauna and flora

2) Cosmetics containing other wild fauna and flora

They are subject to different compliance duties.

1.1 Cosmetics Containing Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

The endangered species of wild fauna and flora refer to those species listed in the Appendices I, II, and III of the CITES.

Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial.

Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction, but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. It also includes so-called "look-alike species," i.e., species whose specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation reasons.

Appendix III is a list of species included at the request of a Party that already regulates trade in the species, and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation.                                           

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The category requires a Certificate of Permission for Endangered Wild Animals granted by the Office of Import and Export of Endangered Species. Importers shall present the Certificate of Permission when clearing the Custom and return the copies of the Certificate of Permission and declaration form to the Office of Import and Export of Endangered Species within 30 days as of completing the customs clearance. The Certificate of Permission is permitted for use for only one time and valid within 180 days as of issuance.

1.2 Cosmetics Containing Other Wild Fauna and Flora 

Other wild fauna and flora refer to any one of the following species:

1) Exempted wild fauna and flora mentioned in the three appendices of the CITES

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2) Wild fauna and flora excluded from the three appendices of the CITES but listed in the Inventory of National Key Protected Wild Fauna or Flora.

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Inventory of national key protected wild fauna

Inventory of national key protected wild flora

3) Wild fauna and flora excluded from the three appendices of the CITES but listed in the 2018 Inventory of Wild Fauna and Flora for Import and Export released by the Custom.

105.pngFor exporting such cosmetics, companies shall apply for a Certificate of Species from the Office of Import and Export of Endangered Species. The Certificate of Species is for the Custom to know that the wild fauna and flora contained does not fall into the regulatory scope of the CITES.

Before applying for the Certificate of Species, companies must ensure:

1) The species do not require the Certificate of Permission for Endangered Wild Animals.

2) The species have consistent meaning with the corresponding items in the 2018 Inventory of Wild Fauna and Flora for Import and Export, especially the species type, endangered status, and biological characteristics.

3) The import is compliant with the regulations.

4) The Latin name and country of origin are logically relevant.

2. Steps to Export Products Containing Wild Fauna and Flora

Step 1: Confirm the Latin name of the wild fauna and flora contained

First, the company shall confirm the Latin name of the wild fauna and flora contained via the website http://www.catalogueoflife.org/ by entering the name to check if there is a synonym.

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Take nelumbium speciosum extract and acipenser baerii as examples, after searching on the website, the results showed that nelumbium speciosum has a synonyms - nelumbo nucifera while the acipenser baerii has no synonyms.

Step 2: Determine the type of species and required certificate

According to the Latin name, companies need to determine the wild fauna and flora contained is endangered species or other wild fauna and flora and prepare for applying for the corresponding certificate.

For example, search results showed that nelumbium speciosum (nelumbo nucifera) is not listed in CITES but in the Inventory of national key protected wild flora. Therefore cosmetics containing nelumbium speciosum shall obtain the Certificate of Species.

110.pngThe search result of acipenser baerii showed that it is not in appendix I of the CITES but in appendix II. Therefore, it is an endangered species and requires the Certificate of Permission for Import and Export of wild fauna.

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Step 3: Apply for the corresponding certificate

The procedures and documents to obtain the Certificate of Permission and Certificate of Species are the same, shown in the figure below:

112.pngIt is not complicated to apply for the Certificate of Permission or Certificate of Species from the Office of Import and Export of Endangered Species. For approved applications, companies can directly download and print the e-certificate online via https://www.singlewindow.cn/

Step 4 Export Products to China and Submit Certifications to Customs

After obtaining the certifications, cosmetics containing wild fauna and flora are permitted to be exported to China. Customs clearance requires submission of the following documents:

Cosmetics   containing endangered species of wild fauna and flora

Cosmetics   containing other wild fauna and flora

1 Certificate of Permission for Import   and Export of wild fauna and flora

2 Certificate of Origin/CITES Certificate

3 Proforma Contract Invoice List

4 Ingredients list

5 Chinese label

1 Certificate of Species

2 Certificate of Origin

3 Proforma Contract Invoice List

4 Ingredients list

5 Chinese label