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China NMPA Officials Reveal Future Supervision Focus for Cosmetics in Industry Summit

On Nov. 8, 2021, The Oriental Beauty Valley International Cosmetics Conference was held in Shanghai. The conference revealed: 1) Future supervision focus of NMPA; 2) Cosmetic regulation to be amended; 3) NMPA’s attitude towards joint R&D between companies and medical institutions; 4) NMPA’s attitude towards application of plant extracts in cosmetics; 5) Common problems found in the risk monitoring in Shanghai.

The following officials and experts were invited to give keynote speeches on cosmetic regulations.

  • Qi Liubin, Deputy Director at the Department of Cosmetics Supervision and Administration of National Medical Products Administration (NMPA)

  • Jin Xin, Deputy Director of the Cosmetics Supervision Office of Shanghai Municipal Medical Products Administration

  • Li Hua, Deputy Director at the Advertisements Supervision and Administration Division of Shanghai Municipal Administration for Market Regulation

  • Tan Yimei, Executive Deputy Director at Shanghai Skin Diseases and STD Hospital, and Executive Deputy Director of the Skin and Cosmetics Research Office of the Skin Disease Hospital Affiliated to Tongji University

  • Zheng Rong, Deputy Director at the Cosmetics Institute of Shanghai Institute for Food and Drug Inspection

ChemLinked sorted out the main highlights of their speeches, summarized as follows.

810 150 动图.gifFuture Supervision Focus and Regulation to be Amended

Supervision Focus

Product Category

Measures

Children cosmetics

Products containing illegal addition

Products sold through online platforms

  • Focus on rectifying online sales of cosmetics that have not completed registration/notification if they are required to do, cosmetics with illegal labels/claims, and cosmetics with quality/safety risks;

  • Crackdown on online sales of illegal cosmetics. If the platform finds illegal cosmetics, it shall remove the product, collect evidences of the operator's illegal activities and submit it to the supervisory authority for punishment;

  • Special rectification campaign “Rectifying Illegals Online and Cracking down Source Offline”for cosmetics have been launched for three years.

Products from illegal sources

  • Strictly punish cosmetics that have not completed registration/notification if they are required to do, and cosmetics produced without a production license;

  • Trace the source of non-compliant cosmetics, and investigate the entire supply chain;

  • If the company denies that the non-compliant cosmetics were produced or imported by it, the regulatory authority will sample the same type or other batches of products produced/imported by the company for inspection. After the inspection, if the company is found to provide false information, this situation will be regarded as a serious circumstance and the company will be severely punished.

Regulation to be Amended

Working Rules for Cosmetic Registration and Notification Testing will be amended in the future.

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Qi Liubin, Deputy Director at the Department of Cosmetics Supervision and Administration of NMPA

(Source: The Oriental Beauty Valley International Cosmetics Conference)

NMPA’s Attitude towards Joint R&D between Cosmetic Companies and Medical Institutions

NMPA’s attitude can be summarized in two aspects:

1. NMPA encourages companies to further strengthen cooperation with scientific research institutes, and indeed improve cosmetic R&D capability;

2. Meanwhile, NMPA firmly opposes companies using “medical innovation” as a gimmick to promote cosmetics. Companies should not use medical terms when promoting cosmetics, so as not to mislead consumers that products have medical efficacies.

"Cosmetics are closely related to dermatology. We encourage the cooperation among companies, hospitals, and scientific research institutes to develop more competitive cosmetics for consumers to solve skin problems," During the panel discussion, Qi said.

"But there are also many non-compliant claims in the industry. Some companies advertise their products with 'efficacies tested by a dermatologist,' but actually, regarding efficacy evaluation, dermatologist is just a kind of evaluation personnel. There is no difference between efficacy evaluation reports issued by dermatologists, hospitals, or other qualified third-party institutions.” What Qi said was also to remind companies to avoid using the claim of “efficacies tested by a dermatologist”.

NMPA’s Attitude towards Application of Plant Extracts in Cosmetics

NMPA encourages and supports companies to research the application of Chinese special plant ingredients in cosmetics, and will cautiously review related products. NMPA is also communicating with the industry on improving the inspection methods, approval standards, and regulatory requirements to standardize the use of plant extracts in cosmetics.

Qi said, “Plant extracts are not the same as pure chemical substances. The relevant review standards should be formulated in conjunction with the characteristics of plant extracts, and be inclusive, prudential, and scientific.”

Currently, cosmetic product manufacturers lack the ability and methods to inspect the plant extracts in their products. The information of plant extract is entirely dependent on the ingredient supplier. NMPA is studying how to formulate detailed and scientific inspection requirements to ensure the accuracy of plant extracts addition in cosmetic products.

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Panel Discussion

(Source: The Oriental Beauty Valley International Cosmetics Conference)

Common Problems Found During Risk Monitoring in Shanghai

Problems

Examples

Detection of ingredients prohibited and restricted by foreign countries

  • Colorants or ingredients prohibited by foreign countries are detected in children eye makeup

  • Dimethicone exceeds the limit

Detection of ingredients prohibited in China

  • Detection of bisphenol A endocrine disruptors

  • Detection of hormones, anti-infectives, and antihistamines

  • Detection of Bimatoprost

Non-compliant label

Detection of preservatives (not included in list of permitted preservatives) in products labeling“no preservative”

Detection of new types of prohibited ingredients

Anti-acne and anti-wrinkle products are illegally added with hormones, anti-infectives, or prohibited ingredients that are currently without approved testing methods

Non-compliant preservative challenge test or preservative performance

  • Detection of other pathogenic bacteria

  • The preservative challenge test does not meet CTFA standards

  • Non-compliant preservative performance

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Zheng Rong, Deputy Director at the Cosmetics Institute of Shanghai Institute for Food and Drug Inspection

(Source: The Oriental Beauty Valley International Cosmetics Conference)

Further Reading

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