China to ditch animal testing on most imported cosmetics this May | Totally Vegan Buzz
China to ditch animal testing on most imported cosmetics this May
Image: Elnur/Shutterstock

Cruelty-free brands will soon be able to sell their products in China once the country lifts its animal testing policy from most imported cosmetics.

From 1st May 2021, China will waive off its mandatory animal testing clause for imported cosmetics.

Up until now, any cosmetics brand selling in China required animal testing by law.

However, according to a statement from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), imported cosmetics products that fall into the ‘general’ category will not require mandatory animal testing to enter the Chinese beauty market from May onwards.

‘General’ cosmetics include shampoo, body wash, lotions, and make-up, and the move opens up a huge opportunity for cruelty-free beauty brands to make their way onto shelves in China soon.

Animal testing will still be required for certain products including hair dyes, hair perming products, freckle-removing, and whitening products, sunscreens, anti-acne and anti-hair loss products as well as cosmetics claiming new efficacy.

‘Worked on this issue long and hard’

PETA, which has been long pushing for change called the announcement a ‘huge progress’ but said ‘animals used in testing in that country still need help’

PETA’s science policy manager, Dr. Julia Baines said: “At PETA, we’ve worked on this issue long and hard.

“We celebrate the cruelty-free steps China is taking to spare animals the pain of cosmetics being put in their eyes, applied to their shaved skin, or forced down their throats.

“The animal-testing exemptions apply only to imported non–special use products, like shampoo, body wash, lotion, and make-up, with certain conditions imposed.

“So the forthcoming implementation of the exemptions is an exciting milestone, but animals used in testing in that country still need our help.”

animal testing
Image: Mongkolchon Akesin /

‘Delighted with the progress’

According to a report published by France’s beauty business association (FEBEA), France will be the first European Union country to export animal test-free ⁠cosmetics to China.

Patrick O’Quin, FEBEA President said: “We are delighted with this progress, which rewards several years of efforts made with the Chinese authorities.

“The cosmetics sector is the only one to have completely banned animal testing in Europe, and we are happy to continue to develop regulations in other parts of the world.

“This agreement will also allow French cosmetic companies to export under new conditions to China. This country is today our second trading partner.”

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