Laws & Regulation: Top news on cosmetics regulation across the APAC region

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Laws & Regulation: Top news on cosmetics regulation across the APAC region
We round up of our most-read cosmetics regulation stories of the region, featuring animal-testing, China’s import tax for luxury beauty, and sustainability in the supply chain.

1 - Malaysian Health Ministry bans 14 skincare products over safety concerns

Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Department (NPRA) has recalled 14 skin care items​ after they were found to contain potentially harmful ingredients.

The press statement, which was sent from the desk of its Director-General of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Bin Abdullah, warned the public not continue use of the products.

Additionally, Datuk Noor Hisham assured that approval to distribute the products were revoked by the Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Services.

2 - China’s compulsory animal-testing for cosmetics may take more than five years to stop

Although China has made significant strides in moving away from animal-testing, its challenges suggest it may take more than five years​ for the country to completely stop compulsory animal-testing for cosmetics, says one analyst.

Hedy He, regulatory analyst and editor of ChemLinked told Cosmetics Design Asia: “In the short term a total ban on animal testing is unlikely given the lack of testing infrastructure and the technical capacity shortcomings of the industry.”

Among the many obstacles, the overarching one is the insufficient technical capacity China faces when it comes to cosmetic safety assessment.

3 - China continues to open its market by reducing import tax rate for luxury cosmetics.

The Chinese government announces that it will cut the import tax​ for high-end cosmetics to 50% effective from November 1 in bid to make its market more hospitable.

In a statement published by the State Council Tariff Commission, the Chinese government announced decided to adjust the tax rate for import goods and taxes.

The announcement was accompanied by a single-page document listing goods that will be affected by the adjustments. Besides premium cosmetics, other luxury goods affected by the taxes include watches, wine, jewellery and golfing equipment.

4 - The dark side of glitter: Beauty’s struggle to source mica tainted by child-labour

Mica is ubiquitous in beauty, used throughout the industry in everything from lipstick to foundation – but much of this mineral is harvested by children as young as 10, along the hilly landscape of rural India.

We spoke with Fanny Frémont, Executive Director of Responsible Mica Initiative, to shine a light on the complicated conundrum of sourcing mica ethically​.

In 2016, Terre des Hommes Netherlands and Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO), conducted research on child-labour for mica along the border between Jharkhand and Bihar in Northeast India.

It is estimated that 25% of the world production of mica is sourced from these illegal mines. According to the NGOs, the beauty industry makes up 18% of the mica market. The electronic industry has a 26% share while the paint has 24%.

5 - Sustainable solutions: How the first step to socio-environmental harmony can begin with a single tree

‘Start small and you’ll support business sustainability’: That’s the advice for cosmetics companies seeking to offset the negative social and environmental impacts​ of their products and protect raw material supplies.

Agroforestry is only one of PUR Projet’s, which works with firms to regenerate the ecosystem they depend upon, by establishing projects that companies can adopt to can create positive changes in the long-term.

“’Insetting’ is a vision that allows companies to re-balance their relationship with the environment,” said Daniel Jongejan of PUR Projet’s project development team.

With insetting, companies can compensate for its social and environmental impact within its own supply chain.

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