China Pilot Program May Let Cosmetic Importers Bypass Animal Testing
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
While nothing is certain and visibility is low as usual, China may be on the verge of allowing importers of ordinary (non-special use) cosmetics to forgo animal testing otherwise required by the China Food and Drug Administration when they go through the Shanghai Pudong New Area. Reportedly, a pilot program enabling a simplified filing process will kick off in March to test the system under consideration.
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The Personal Care Products Council’s head of global strategies says a revised cosmetics framework law could be enacted in China in the 2019 first quarter. It’s expected to shift China to a more risk-based system, reducing bureaucratic red tape and promoting fairer competition, though some of the finer details will depend on implementing regulations.
Regulatory changes under consideration could bring Chinese cosmetics requirements more in line with global standards, but others could complicate matters for companies that have avoided animal testing via cross-border e-commerce. While much remains hazy, it's clear that industry would benefit from China's increased openness to alternative tests to substantiate cosmetic safety.
Cruelty Free International CEO Michelle Thew aims to set the record straight following reports that might seem to refute the NGO’s earlier statements about the program. Ultimately the “tightly controlled” pathway to China’s cosmetics market remains a promising opportunity for companies that have shied from taking the plunge for fear of tarnishing their animal-friendly creds.