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EU Calling on China Cosmetic Regulatory Reform

China’s cosmetics regulatory regime is receiving intensive recommendations from a position paper issued by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber), a cross-national trade chamber established by European companies active in China.

China’s cosmetics regulatory regime is receiving intensive recommendations from a position paper issued by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber), a cross-national trade chamber established by European companies active in China.

The European Chamber publishes its latest annual European Business in China Position Paper on the 8th of last month. The total documents consist of 4 major sections of trade issues, covering more than 20 manufacturing and service sectors from agriculture to pharmaceuticals. Among these, one individual position paper submitted by the cosmetics working group has proposed most intensive requests for regulations revision, streamlining approval procedures, improving transparency in policy-making, tax reduction and advertising policy standardization.

The cosmetics position paper underlines in particular the problem of China’s overlapping administration on cosmetic product/company approval and licensing. Currently, cosmetics manufacturers must acquire two licenses: SFDA’s Cosmetics Manufacturing Hygienic License and AQSIQ’s Cosmetics Manufacturing Production License. The dual-licensing system has caused additional burden to the industry and consequentially results in higher costs for consumers. The European Chamber therefore requested to unify and streamline the specific roles and responsibilities of the SFDA and AQSIQ in cosmetics manufacturing and avoid regulatory conflicts in the provision issued by multiple relevant authorities.

Another key recommendation points to the approval of Animal Alternative Testing (AAT) methods in China cosmetics and new ingredients registration. China is the only country that requires compulsory animal testing for administrative license applications for cosmetics new ingredients and finished products. However, with a number of AAT standards and the corresponding AAT GLP guideline adopted in the past 3 years, European Chamber recognizes that “on the technical side, China is ready for AAT” and it is urging the national State Council to take their request into consideration for a wholesome Chinese cosmetic import & export development.

Here we provide their specific recommendations shown in the table below:

Key Items

Position Paper Requests

Specific recommendations

Regulations Revision

Revision of Cosmetics Hygienic Management Rules (CHMR)

Speed up the revision of the CHMR and establish a unified, coordinated, highly efficient and sound cosmetics regulation system to protect consumer safety and encourage industry innovation and development.

Product Registration

Simplify the Imported Non-Special Purpose Cosmetics Filing Process

Filing materials: only type approval, no technical review or administrative approval;

Establish a “Further Document Needed” process.

Examination and Approval of Domestic Special-Purpose Cosmetics

Replace the provincial manufacturing capability review with the submission of a faxed copy of CMHL in the application materials

Approval and Administration of New Ingredients for Cosmetics

Request for detailed requirements on the new ingredients technical review;

Limit new ingredients to a few types of special purpose, i.e. preservatives, colorant, hair dye etc.;

Develop the list of used cosmetic ingredients in Chinese market.

Improvement of Cosmetics Administrative Licensing Procedure and Requirements

Shorten approval time for non-safety-related update, cancellation, and termination applications;

Allow parallel application mode for “same-name application”;

More regular training for cosmetic companies

Technical Evaluation Guidelines for Baby and Pregnant Women Products

Issue related technical guidelines as soon as possible so that product registration can be resumed.

Cosmetic Testing and Data Acquisition

Approval of AAT in cosmetics and new ingredients registration

Accept data by AAT methods as China has come to the period when technical AAT is available;

Encourage the application of AAT to reduce testing on animals and company burdens

Tax and Advertising Related Standards

Reduction of enterprise Income tax and consumption tax on Cosmetics

Grant a 30% pre-tax deduction to all cosmetics enterprises;

Decrease the high consumption tax on cosmetics and perfume products, considering the wide usage of cosmetics in civil consumption.

Establish industry norm in cosmetics advertising and its online selling

Strengthen legal standardization on cosmetics advertising;

Lift the threshold for cosmetic e-commerce entities

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) Labelling

Lift the SPF labeling limit to 50+

Allow the SPF labeling limit to be changed to SPF 50+ and ensure better sun protection for consumers undertaking long-time sun-exposed activities.

Reference Link

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