China denies allowing foreign animal test-free cosmetics to be imported

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/10 16:43:39

Chinese authorities denied reaching any agreement with Cruelty Free International on allowing foreign cosmetics companies to sell their products in China without having to undergo animal tests.

"We did not reach an agreement with any international organization and our management is based on regulations published in 2014," an official from the China Food and Drug Administration told the Global Times on Monday.

Financial Review reported that Cruelty Free International, an animal rights group that wants to end laboratory testing on rabbits, signed an agreement with Chinese authorities in late June that will allow foreign cosmetics companies to sell their products in China under a pilot program without having to undergo animal testing on their products.

The report said Shanghai's Fengxian District had agreed to the pilot program. Australian exporters are eyeing the $60 billion cosmetics market in the world's second-largest economy.

Fengxian district government in Shanghai could not be reached for comment.

Cruelty Free International told the Global Times on Wednesday that the pilot scheme will enable select Chinese companies and international brands to work with Cruelty Free International and Knudsen & Co to access the market through domestic production, avoiding the risk of post-market testing and ensuring that filing takes place without animal testing.

We are enabling companies to retain our cruelty-free certification while using the existing regulations (since 2015) that enable companies to avoid mandatory animal testing for domestic production. There has been no change to the requirements for companies who wish to directly import products where animal testing is still required, Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, told the Global Times.

The administration issued a notice in December 2013, which came into effect in 2014, stipulating that non-specialized cosmetics produced in China could avoid toxicological testing after going through risk and safety checks. But imported cosmetics are not covered in the proposal.

The administration also issued an announcement in March 2017 which adjusts administrative regulations and examinations for general cosmetics imported through Shanghai. The temporary measure, which covers March 2017 to December 21, 2018, allows products to be imported under a simplified filing system.

"This change reflects a trend toward further regulatory harmonization with global cosmetic markets,  and presents a real opportunity for China to make additional progress in moving away from mandatory animal testing for cosmetics," said Human Society International #BeCrueltyFree Campaign Director Claire Mansfield.

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