China cosmetic registration: SAMR publishes full details of new rules that will be enforced in May

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

SAMR publishes full details of new rules that will be enforced on May 1, 2021. [GettyImages]
SAMR publishes full details of new rules that will be enforced on May 1, 2021. [GettyImages]

Related tags: China, Regulation, CSAR

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has published the full-text regarding new regulations for cosmetics registration, which will come into force May 1, 2021.

The full text of the Administrative Measures on Cosmetics Registration and Notification​ includes six chapters and 63 articles and supports the overarching Cosmetics Supervision and Administration Regulation (CSAR).

According to SAMR, these measures will strengthen cosmetic registration and filing management, protect consumers’ health rights, regulate and promote the healthy development of the cosmetics industry.

“It was necessary to formulate supporting regulations to further refine the regulations on registration and filing management.”

It added that it had sought opinions and suggestions from regulatory authorities, industry associations and enterprises alike to draft these measures. Furthermore, it had conducted several symposiums, on-site investigations and special discussions on the matter.

Previously, the draft was known as the Administrative Measures on Cosmetic Registration and​ was passed and renamed during the 14th executive meeting held on December 31, 2020.

Safety first

According to Article four of the document, the authorities will implement registration management for special cosmetics and new cosmetic raw materials with a higher degree of risk.

Only new cosmetic raw materials that will be used for certain functions such as sun protection, hair dyeing and skin whitening will need to apply for registration.

According to the document, the agency will review the application within five working days from the date of application.

In order to strengthen the supervision of cosmetic ingredients, chapter three of the document stresses on the responsibility of cosmetic registrants to ensure the safety of products.

For instance, the document highlighted that the cosmetics registrant and recorder need to clarify the source of raw materials and relevant information on raw material safety through the information service platform.

The period of safety monitoring period for new cosmetic raw materials is set for three years. During this time, the new raw material can be used to produce cosmetic products.

If any issues come up during the safety monitoring period, the use of the raw material will be suspended.

After expiration, the technical review agency shall submit to the NMPA an opinion on whether the new cosmetic raw materials meet the safety requirements.

Labelling issues

To combat the distribution of adulterated cosmetic products in the market, Article 36 of the measures stipulated that when an ordinary cosmetic product has been filed, the name of the product cannot be changed ‘without justifiable reasons’.

Furthermore, the article stated that efficacy claims also cannot be changed without sufficient scientific basis.

“Ordinary cosmetics that have been filed are not allowed to change the product formula at will, except for minor changes in the product formula due to changes in the source of raw materials and other reasons.”

Furthermore, companies are expected to upload pictures of product labels to the information service before the products hit the shelves, implying that the actual sales packaging needs to conform to the registered label.

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