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China Launched a Yearlong Rectification to Crack Down on Three Types of Cosmetics

In October 2021, China officially launched a yearlong special rectification campaign to overhaul the online cosmetics market. The key regulatory targets of the campaign are unregistered and unnotified cosmetics, cosmetics with illegal claims, and cosmetics with quality and safety risks.

To rectify the problems of online cosmetic sales, strengthen the primary responsibility of cosmetic e-commerce operators, and standardize the online cosmetics market, China NMPA issued a notice on October 11, 2021, to carry out a nationwide rectification campaign from October 2021 to October 2022, targeting illegal cosmetic sold online.

The campaign will be executed centering on the following three key tasks:

Key Tasks of the Rectification

Specific Cosmetic Categories subject to Crackdown and Rectification

1. Inspect and clamp down on unregistered or unnotified cosmetics, focusing on checking the registration and notification status of cosmetics sold by cosmetic e-commerce operators

  • Unregistered special cosmetics,

  • Unnotified general cosmetics,

  • Cosmetics that fraudulently use other people's registration certificates,

  • Cosmetics that have been ordered to suspend or cease operation by national or provincial medical products administration departments.

2. Inspect and clamp down on cosmetics with illegal claims, focusing on checking whether the cosmetic product label and other information displayed on the product page is comprehensive, true, accurate, and consistent with the cosmetic registration or notification dossiers

  • Cosmetics with false or misleading labels,

  • Cosmetics that explicitly or implicitly claim medical effect,

  • Cosmetics that illegally claim “cosmeceuticals”, “stem cell”, “acid peel”, “medical skincare products”, etc.

3. Inspect and clamp down on cosmetics with quality and safety risks, focusing on children cosmetics, freckle removing and whitening cosmetics

  • Cosmetics that are illegally added with substances that may harm human health,

  • Cosmetics produced with prohibited ingredients,

  • Cosmetics containing restricted ingredients which beyond the scope or limits of use.

The campaign is divided into the following three phases.

  • From October 2021 to February 2022: work deployment, self-inspection, and rectification phase;

  • From March 2022 to September 2022: inspection phase;

  • October 2022: wrap-up phase.

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Industry Comments

  • NMPA has launched special rectification campaigns on the same theme in 2019 and 2020. Different from the short-term actions in the previous two years, this year's rectification campaign will last for a whole year. Besides, the rectification's focus has shifted from the investigation and removal of substandard cosmetics, illegal product information, and products/manufacturers’ false qualification information to the crackdown and rectification of various types of illegal cosmetics.

  • The online cosmetic sector will be subject to more stringent supervision and administration. E-commerce platforms are the supervision focus of this special rectification campaign. The regulatory authorities will strictly inspect the page information on e-commerce platforms.

  • At present, the campaign is in the stage of self-inspection and rectification. ChemLinked suggests cosmetic e-commerce stakeholders conduct self-inspection as soon as possible and complete the rectification before February 2022 to avoid punishments for illegal activities in the follow-up inspections.

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