China: End of animal testing for cosmetic products in 2021?

Well, yes and no.

Imported products (interesting for foreign cosmetic brands) are not subjected to animal testing as long as they belong to the “ordinary” segment: Shampoo, Make-up, Toothpaste.

“Effective Jan. 1, 2021, imported ordinary cosmetics such as shampoo, blush, mascara and perfume will no longer have to be animal-tested for eye and skin irritation in Chinese laboratories,” said Human Society International Friday.

What is the definition of ordinary cosmetic products for Chinese authorities?

A product that does not have any specific health claim (hair loss for instance), that does not belong to the sun protection and hair/skin coloring segment.

Authorities will publish the new regulation and guidelines in the months to come making it more clear to cosmetic companies on what products exactly can they now export to China without animal testing and how to file for these products.

A great new for foreign cosmetic brands in China

China was one of the last major economies still not allowing non-animal testing products to be sold within their border while also being one of the biggest markets for cosmetic products.

If for China the move may have several motives: offering more options to consumers, appeasing animal lovers, countering daigou that illegally import said products on the market, or improving its image on animal cruelty we can only applaud this choice.

A choice that will finally open the door of this gigantic market for all the cosmetics brands that had chosen to give it up to stand by their conviction. We can only hope that this is the first step towards more lax regulations on animal testing for a wider range of products.

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