Article by: Perry Romanowski

This is a press release out of China from the Chemical Inspection and Regulation Service (CIRS). Should be helpful for cosmetic formulators who are creating products for that market.

The Hygienic Standards for Cosmetics issued by the Ministry of Health in 2007 is the most important cosmetic standard in China that sets detailed safety requirements on finished cosmetic products manufactured or sold in China. The Hygienic Standard for Cosmetics have banned over 1200 substances in cosmetics and restricted the use of 73 substances, 56 preservatives, 156 colorants, 28 sun block
agents and 93 dyes in cosmetics.

Compared to the old regulation, the new standard contains the following proposed changes:

  • Hygienic Standards for Cosmetics will be renamed as Technical Safety Standard for Cosmetics
  • Safety requirements on cosmetic ingredients will also be added
  • More detailed requirements for special use cosmetics & cosmetics for special human groups will be added
  • The max allowable amount of Pb and As in cosmetics will be reduced from 40mg/kg and 10mg/kg to 10mg/kg and 4mg/kg respectively
  • Quantitative limits for 1,4-dioxane(30mg/kg) and asbestos(not detected) in cosmetics will be added

The new draft standard has also emphasized the importance of safety evaluation of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients. According the standard, companies shall carry out safety evaluation of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients (including risk substances) to ensure safe use.

The annexes of the new standard are also being revised and will be published for consultations later.
The annexes will include:

  • Technical requirements on cosmetic ingredients;
  • Banned & restricted substances;
  • Testing & evaluation methods(Physio-chemical/microbial/toxicology/human safety/efficacy)

Reference Link



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    I’ve been working with the Chinese standards for the last few years (food & Pharma) and they have been increasing their standards considerably (though sometimes they ban one ingredients, only to reinstate at a later date).
    I guess if one wants to export product to China, these are the rules one must abide with.
    I have been asked by a few customers to develop products for China, so I guess this notice has come at a perfect time.

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      I wonder are you allowed to export product to China? I heard in a talk that you had to manufacture in China if you wanted to sell there.

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        I can’t say for cosmetics, although I am acting under instruction from a few Chinese companies wanting New Zealand made products to sell in China.

        My experience comes from the natural health field and also from infant formula and we were allowed to export to China. I was never sure how natural health supplements made it to China, because a few customers asked for NIPs (Nutritional Information Panels) which suggest they were to be sold as foods. The majority never asked for NIPs – and I doubt they were listing in China, so I can only conclude the customers were over-labelling in Chinese with a NIP and selling as a food supplement.
        For the Infant formulae, we had to comply with the Chinese GB standards as well as the local NZFSA standards (and there is little common ground between the two standards – just enough to get a product made). But it is easy enough. After the tainted milk scandal in China a few years ago, the Chinese came in their droves to NZ to buy infant formula. Even now, there is a 2 can limit on the amount you can buy in shops here. Rationing in NZ to prevent illegal exports and shortages here.

        The Chinese love western brands. They have little trust in Chinese made products especially when it comes to children. They have what I have heard called ‘seven wallet syndrome’ in reference to a child being looked after by an average of seven adults all paying the best they can for that child.

        Exporting to China can be done, it can be lucrative if you have a supply chain in place. It helps to have someone you can trust working with you over there so you do not go it alone. If you work with Chinese partners, they often come along with serious cash to invest (but there are a lot of talkers out there too) so you need to do your homework.
        Apparently depilatory creams are now the fasting selling imported cosmetic product and the asian women prefer the hairless western look!

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