If you wish to establish presence in the Chinese retail sector, Hawksford can help.
After years of negotiations between the PRC’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), the Cosmetic Supervision and Administration Regulation (CSAR) and global industry leaders, on 4 March 2021, Chinese regulators have finally confirmed that imported general cosmetics will be exempted from animal testing starting from 1 May 2021.
With the publication of the final version of the Provisions for Management of Cosmetic Registration and Notification Dossiers, China’s NMPA sets forth two main pre-conditions and three exceptions for general cosmetics to be exempted from animal testing. Brands wishing to access the Chinese market should meet both of these two conditions:
There are still some situations, that brands and manufacturers need to use animal testing to have their products imported into China. Please check here for more details.
Among the economies that are better positioned to take advantage of this new development, The French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products has already started issuing GMP certificates for manufacturers grouped under the Federation of Beauty Enterprises and has launched an online platform to streamline the entire process.
On the other side of the English Channel, the UK, via the Department of International Trade (DIT), is in discussion with industry leaders and associations to launch a certification system with standards that satisfy the requirements by China’s NMPA. The DIT is also developing a ‘China Ready’ package, grouping market experts, consultants and its Chinese specialists together so as to ensure that the British beauty sector doesn’t miss out on this new opportunity.
The Italian Association of Cosmetics Enterprises is also continuing to follow up on a series of programmes to educate its members about the regulatory market updates and export strategies for China. Currently, there is no government authority or regulator in Italy other than this association that is able to certify GMP status for Italian manufacturers.
Rather than acting on a national basis, EU member countries should refer to the EU framework and come up with a mutual solution that brings all the major players to an equal starting point.The EU has already unified, in fact, a series of best practices and minimum requirements that beauty products have to respect in the Common Market via Regulation CE 1223/2009, which came into force in July 2013 and does mention GMP standards as a benchmark.
As a matter of fact, the EU also hosts the body that first hailed the introduction of GMP standards in its territory, Cosmetics Europe, while trying to improve the quality of the cosmetics industry output via modern production techniques, packaging strategies and new manufacturing processes. If that wasn’t enough, the European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients has also developed its own GMP standards for its chemical and natural raw materials suppliers for the beauty industry.
Figures by Statista show that the cosmetics market in China totalled CNY 425.6 billion in 2019 before dropping to around CNY 396 billion last year due to the pandemic. However, it is now set to bounce back and recover in 2021, reaching a record figure of CNY 455.3 billion. The next five years should bring exponential growth, with China already being the second-largest market in the world for cosmetics products. 70% of China’s beauty products sales are already performed online via e-commerce platforms like Tmall, JD.com and their cross-border versions due to initial regulatory hurdles on animal testing.
South Korea and Japan, the Asian counterparts with historical penetration and influence in the traditional retail sector, have long exploited the admiration of their audiences to eastern beauty standards and the inflow of travellers with higher replacement needs than fashion apparel. During the last Singles Day on Alibaba (11 November), a new local player and Yatsen’s beauty brand ‘Perfect Diary’ (完美日记) totalled CNY 100 million of sales in the first 9 minutes of a shopping frenzy, hinting at the market potential for cosmetics producers and retailers still considering entering the Chinese market.
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