Chinese regulations update: Knowledge and compliance

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese regulations update: Knowledge and compliance

Related tags Belinda carli Personal care science Cosmetics

As Belinda Carli, Director of the Institute of Personal Care Science prepares to provide an update on Chinese regulations at this week’s  in-cosmetics Korea in Seoul, we caught up to gain clarity on cosmetics regulations in the leading region.

As of December 2016, cosmetics items entering China must now comply with updated and clearer China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) regulations.

The permitted list of cosmetics has now been reduced and the restricted list, extended. With the enforcement of products entering China enhanced, producers and exporters face stricter rules.

CFDA changes

Speaking with Cosmetics Design Asia, Belinda Carli highlighted a number of changes to Chinese regulations, the impact this is expected to have on both domestic companies and overseas organisations, and how they will have to adapt accordingly.

1. As the relationship between cosmetics, dermatology and pharmaceuticals strengthens throughout Asia-Pacific (APAC), this creates difficulty for brands in these areas as speciality and cosmeceutical cosmetics ingredients, for example, are now prohibited under the tighter import controls. 

2. Quaternary ammonium compounds (commonly known as QACs or quats) limits have been altered, which may affect several multinational or previously approved products, sparking potential modifications.

3. China’s CDFA regulations now cap the level of Centrimonium chloride and/or Steartrimonium Chloride in leave-in hair conditioner at 2.5% for rinse off and 0.25% for leave-in. The amount of Behentrimonium chloride in rinse-off cannot exceed 5.0%, whilst for leave-in conditioner, it is restricted to 0.25%. While these changes predominantly refer to wash-off materials, hair care and styling product manufacturers must be aware of these updates to avoid any interruption to import cosmetics.

4. Colourants will now receive more thorough testing and stricter monitoring to ensure test specifications limit the introduction of adulterated and impure colours, which has been hailed by Carli as “a real benefit for the industry”.

Ongoing impact

Commenting on the importance of the updated regulations within the Chinese cosmetics industry, Carli said: “These new regulations are aimed at improving consumer trust in imported products as well as improving regulatory transparency and entry of ‘safer’ products to the Chinese market for personal care companies.”

“In some cases, it may mean products need reformulating to suit Chinese regulations specifically or may not be able to enter the Chinese market as they are,”​ Carli highlighted.

When considering intended exports, companies need to research their growth market regulations carefully and develop products that comply with local regulations, especially if they want to expand throughout the globe.

Belinda Carli, Director of the Institute of Personal Care Science, will discuss issues including what additional paperwork is needed in China, advice to help avoid any pitfalls and simple ways to search ingredients compliance in the EU on 22nd June 2017 at 13:00-13:45 in the marketing trends and regulations theatre.

Related topics Regulation & Safety