In an effort to regulate and strengthen the supervision and management of cosmetics, the China Food and Drug Administration has been revising cosmetic health supervision regulations over the last year.
The revision is to bring the China Administration closer to EU cosmetics regulations, making it easier for foreign companies to understand.
It is currently seeking public opinion on tighter supervision guidelines after publishing the rules around the production and inspection of cosmetics.
April Guo, head of cosmetics regulatory affairs at CIRS tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com that the main points of inspection include 29 critical points and 77 common items with regards to the management of quality, production, plant, facility and equipment, materials and products, adverse effect and recall.
"The purpose of the regulation is to improve the management of production and quality for domestic manufacturers. It will be a foundation to implement the GMP gradually," she tells this publication.
Currently, the CFDA states that manufacturers must deal with adverse reaction cases that may be linked to their products after investigation and assessment, and that the recall process should also be documented.
The administration also requires manufacturers to monitor and report adverse reactions related to their products and set up a product recall system.
According to The Global Times, the new rules around subcontracted products requires the contractors and subcontractors to clarify their responsibilities and ink an agreement to guarantee product quality.
CFDA working hard on cosmetics regulation
Other proposed changes include classifying oral care products as cosmetics and widening the "special use cosmetics" category to cover hair dye, hair perming products, whitening creams and sun care; ideas raised late 2014.
According to CIRS, the regulations will lay down set rules for manufacturers, distributors and importers, prior to them placing their products on the market but will challenge Chinese agents, especially for domestic distributors.
Under the draft, an agent appointed by a foreign company will be responsible for registrations and record keeping, as well as for the authenticity of submitted materials and the quality and safety of cosmetics.
Also on top of animal testing alternatives...
China’s FDA was quick off the mark in January 2014, as it moved to push a final draft to remove animal testing requirements for non special use cosmetics.
The filing was very efficient and highlighted that in comparison to the draft notice, many dates and deadlines have been changed that manufacturers should take note of.
According to CIRS, for many local cosmetic companies that do not have sufficient safety assessment capabilities, this filing means carrying out toxicology tests will be easier to do.
For many foreign cosmetic brands who wish to enter the Chinese market while avoiding animal testing during this approval process, the regulatory body says there may be a way forward for them to achieve both.
The ruling also meant toxicology test reports will no longer be required if companies have the capabilities to conduct their own safety assessment of ingredients to ensure the safety of their finished cosmetic products.