A look at the regulatory issues affecting APAC in 2016

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

A look at the regulatory issues affecting APAC in 2016

Related tags: South korea

As Asia’s cosmetics markets continue to evolve with considerable speed, changes and updates to regulation and safety guidelines are happening just as fast. Here, we’ve rounded up the most noteworthy amendments for you to keep on top of...

With the trend for interactivity and personalisation in beauty retail dominating globally, Korea’s government announced it was set to legalise customised cosmetics formulation in the country​.

Increasingly, retailers have begun to offer the on-the-spot bespoke mixing of cosmetics from base ingredients (including colours and scents) as a service for consumers eager for personalised beauty regimes.

More beauty personalisation 

The relaxation of the ban will allow Korean beauty players to start pushing the trend within the country, a move that, the Korea Herald reported, “is projected to further diversify and expand the country’s vibrant cosmetics industry.”

Bespoke production of cosmetics at select stores, including duty free, across several specific product categories is being trialled out. These are reportedly: four types of fragrance, 10 types of skin care products, and eight types of colour cosmetics, including lipsticks.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan a proposed ban on testing cosmetics ​products and ingredients on animals passed a key government committee and was on its’ way towards a full parliamentary debate and vote.

Taiwan animal testing ban

The ban involves an amendment to Taiwan’s Control for Cosmetics Hygiene Act, which has to date, dictated that products go through an animal testing stage before retail.

A recent poll by the Taiwan SPCA indicated that consumers are keen for the ban to go forward, with 69.2 per cent of those surveyed in favour of it, and 76.5 per cent saying they don’t believe animals should suffer in the name of beauty.

Elsewhere, India’s union cabinet announced it was moving towards a shake up in its’ cosmetics regulation​ in order to keep up innovation by withdrawing the country’s Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill of 2013.


The bill, which came as an amendment to the original 1940 Drugs and Cosmetics Act has meant the country is unable to regulate the latest industry developments appropriately in such areas as “stem cells, regenerative medicines, medical devices and clinical trials under the law”.

The new legislation is set to clarify regulation requirements for the medical devices market, and separate their regulation from that of cosmetics more generally.

Trade tariff wars?

Finally, trade tariffs were a huge topic of conversation at the East Asia Summit in August ​which focused on worldwide protectionism for a variety of industries, including cosmetics.

The Summit was held in Vientiane, Laos, and saw members South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand agreeing to destroy non-tariff barriers as a means of tackling this problem.

For cosmetics and personal care businesses, particularly the large multinational players, these non-tariff barriers can have a significant impact on business because they restrict imports and exports of any products that are listed as such, with cosmetics and personal care often cited.

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