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animal testing in China

what’s the story with China?

On 12 November 2013, we wrote to all the companies on the Choose Cruelty Free List in relation to the issue of animal testing in China. We informed them of our stance that: we won’t accredit any company that allows their products to be animal tested, anywhere in the world. This hasn’t changed.

But sadly because these overseas markets offer lucrative investment opportunities to major brands, many still continue to overlook animal welfare in exchange for bigger profits.

In countries such as China (mainland) regulations require that most imported cosmetic products must undergo animal testing prior to being sold retail to consumers. For the animals in question this means a miserable and often shortened existence as these products are tested in the name of safety regulations.

retail outlet jiujiang china

In 2016, the Chinese government proposed introducing major changes during 2017 to the product registration requirements for cosmetic products sold via cross border e-commerce. This was ominous for the laboratory animals as it would mean even more products would be animal-tested, even if they were sold via e-commerce channels. Thankfully, we were advised that the government temporarily halted its plans to introduce the changes in 2017.

  • Imported products can continue to be direct mailed by foreign companies to consumers in the Chinese mainland for personal use with no animal testing requirement.
  • Imported products can be sent to Hong Kong by foreign companies, then an agent there can direct mail to consumers in the Chinese mainland for personal use, with no animal testing requirement.
  • Hong Kong still has no mandatory animal testing regulations for e-commerce or retail.

Animal testing in China is under constant regulatory review and we’ll do our utmost to keep you abreast of the changes as and when they occur.

Media Announcements

Public consultation on cosmetics classifications in China closes. (January 2018)

Pan-Asian regulatory expert Dr Tommy Kong outlines current cosmetic import regulations in China. (March 2015)

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree South Korea Campaign welcomes Cosmetics Bill requiring mandatory use of alternatives, but loopholes must be closed. (March 2015)

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign re animal-testing of cosmetics in China. (July 2014)

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign update on the latest news from China re a proposed review of animal testing regulations. (October 2013)

L’Oreal spends US$843 million to accelerate their expansion in China. (August 2013)

EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg has urged Chinese authorities to follow the European example and rid the cosmetics arena of animal testing and turn to alternative methods instead. (June 2013)

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign launch in China. (June 2013)

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign celebrates India’s ban on animal testing of cosmetics.  (June 2013)

CHOICE exposes questionable cosmetic labelling re animal testing. Watch the CHOICE video which aired on Australian TV. (May 2013)

Page Updated: 1 February 2018

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