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Cosmetics Claiming “EGF” or “Medicated Cosmetics” are banned from Selling on E-commerce Platforms

All cosmetic products advertisements (including related titles, pictures or details on e-commerce platform) containing the words “Medicated cosmetics”, “Medical skin care products”, “EGF”, “human oligopeptide-1” will be banned from Jan. 25, 2019.

On Jan. 10, 2019, National Medical Products Administration clearly stated that:

  • “Medicated cosmetics” and “medical skin care products” are banned claims;

  • EGF is banned in cosmetics including any labeling/advertising;

  • Trace stabilizers, preservatives, antioxidants which are used to ensure the ingredient quality may not be marked on the product label but should be reported in the product formulation.

Then on Jan. 16, 2019, Taobao (one of Chinese dominant e-commerce platforms) released a notice that all the cosmetic products’ titles, pictures or details page contain the words “medicated cosmetics”, “medical skin care products”, “EGF”, “human oligopeptide-1” will be banned by Jan. 25, 2019. If illegal products are found being sold after that date, punishments will include removal of the products, and deduction of a shops rating score.

First violationRemove the product
Second violationDelete the product and deduct 0.2 points
Repeated violations and large number of illegal productsRemove all the products from the shelves and deduct 6 points

Common Questions Answered by Taobao Platform

Q1:What if the product’s name contain “medicated cosmetics”, “medical skin care products”, “EGF”, “human oligopeptide-1” and other illegal words?

A1: The competent authority is reviewing the filed products’ information. All the products with illegal names will be cancelled as soon as possible. Taobao merchants need to remove the relevant products and stop selling them, or ask the manufacturer for the latest version of the product.

Q2:Can I only modify the product title? 

A2:Taobao merchants need to self-check and correct the product titles, pictures and details page.

Q3:Can other similar descriptions be used?

A3:Related synonymous descriptions, such as homophone, pinyin, etc., are all classified as non-compliant descriptions.

Current situation of cosmetics claiming “EGF” or “medicated cosmetics”

After the notice was issued, searches for the keyword of “medicated cosmetics” on e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Suning, related products have been blocked. Inputting synonyms such as "medical skin care products", "EGF", etc. still reveals illegal products on sale.

Search for the keyword "medicated cosmetics" on Taobao and Suning

Search for the keyword "EGF" and "medical skin care products" on Taobao

All the domestic filed general cosmetics products’ name containing “medicated cosmetics” on NMPA filing system have been cancelled. Products’ name containing “EGF” are waiting to be cancelled or modified.

Search for the keyword "medicated cosmetics" on NMPA filing system

Cancelled filing certificate

Advice for stakeholders

 1. Specifications on Imported Non-Special Use Cosmetics Filing Documents Review released by Shanghai MPA stipulates that imported non-SUC original packaging containing some simple or traditional Chinese words which are medical terminology, such as "药用"(Medicinal) and "医药"(Medicine) , the manufacturer shall provide a disclaimer (using simplified mandarin Chinese) on the label or instruction which states that the product is compliant with regulations/laws in the country of origin and cannot be used as medicines.

2. Products which contain oligopeptide-1 in their formulation must prove the oligopeptide-1 used is not EGF, a specification demonstrating the amino acid composition and supporting documents of source are necessary for filing.

Trace preservatives, stabilizers and antioxidants may not be marked on the product label

Trace components such as preservatives contained in ingredients are usually present in cosmetic products in relatively low concentrations and often easily degraded. They may be degraded during manufacture or storage. If they are marked on the product label and not detected during sampling inspection, it may cause problems.

If any preservatives are not marked on the label and subsequently found during sample inspection by local regulatory authorities, the manufacturer may face punishments. In response to this problem, NMPA responded that manufacturers can avoid punishment by providing 2 documents to local regulatory authorities.

1. Proof that the ingredients contain preservatives provided by ingredient suppliers;
2. Manufacturers’ ingredients input record.
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