The approved legislation, which has a three-year implementation period and so will take effect from October 2019, will amend Taiwan’s Control for Cosmetic Hygiene Act and ban cosmetic animal testing for both finished products and cosmetic ingredients.
Along with India and South Korea, Taiwan now joins the European Union, Norway, Israel, New Zealand and Turkey in ending the practice of injuring and killing animals after withstanding cosmetics testing on animals.
Taiwan’s vote comes after growing public opinion supports global bans on cosmetics animal testing and instead, replaces animal testing with non-animal testing alternatives.
Recently, animal welfare advocates increased their efforts by creating the #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan campaign, a partnership between HSI and the Taiwan SPCA. Representatives from both organisations worked with bill sponsors, legislators Wang YuMin and Zhuang Rui Xiong and key government ministries to advance the legislation.
There are two key exemptions that are expected to apply to the legislation. The first exemption will occur when an ingredient is already widely used on the market and there are no alternative substitutes available. Secondly, if the ingredient has a risk of being unsafe, animal testing would be allowed to confirm its safety as only if it is found to be safe will it be allowed in the product.
Where these exemptions apply, companies will still have to get authorisation from Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA), before animal testing under these exemptions. The requirements to qualify for an exemption are yet to be confirmed.
Despite this decision, Taiwanese consumers will still be able to purchase cosmetics and beauty products that have been tested on animals if the product is imported from other countries.
At present, various legislation that supports the end of cosmetics animal testing and the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics is underway in a number of countries including the US, Canada, and Brazil. The Australian government has also agreed to end cosmetics cruelty by July 2017.