Cosmetics in China fall under one of two classifications: "cosmetics for special use(s)" or "cosmetics for non-special use(s)". Described as the current classification, this distinguishment results in different regulatory requirements being applied to cosmetics.
Consultation closing date: 30th January
With the draft consultation currently under consultation, the results have the potential to change these classifications and how the regulatory body, CFDA, handles these definitions.
The CFDA released the draft rules on the classification of cosmetics on 17th January 2018. The public consultation is open to the community, enabling them to read the draft cosmetics classification, view the cosmetics specification drafting instructions and invite public comments. The public consultation period will close on 30th January 2018.
The current classification, which has been in place for over two decades, has been revisited in order to better consider the regulatory needs of cosmetics developers and manufacturers, and the innovations and upgrades relating to the production of cosmetics items within the industry. This new draft classification strives to detail a specific cosmetics classification.
CFDA stipulates in the draft classification and its explanatory note that the current classification would still be applicable and effective in the cosmetics industry.
Using digital codes
Digital codes will also be introduced to provide detailed classifications and support the "filling, registration, administration and statistics of cosmetics".
Every single cosmetic product would have an accompanying digital code that provides comprehensive information on its classification.
A digital code has four parts, for example, 04-02-07-09. Each individual part represents an element of the classification: the first part refers to the function of the cosmetic, the second to the relevant body part, the third relates to the form of the cosmetic, and the fourth indicates the target population.
This new draft consultation outlines 25 categories of function such as aromatic and hair dye; 26 categories of body parts including skin, hair and eyes; 17 categories of form i.e. powder, lotion and cream; and six categories of target population such as men, children pregnant women, for example.
With the CFDA’s new draft classification about to finish its public consultation period, cosmetics companies can review the categories to consider whether they are relevant and appropriate. This will help to provide clear insights and contribute to the final classification.
Although the legal framework will remain intact and applied, the CFDA may modify the legal requirements associated with cosmetics in China by placing the digital code as a product label on cosmetics packaging for those that have already been registered or filed.