Cosmetics is one of the sectors selected for Outcome 1 of the UK-China Business Environment Programme Standards Strand: improvement in the adoption and use of International Standards in China.

The cosmetics supply chain extends to impoverished areas in China, and the industry supports job creation in rural communities. China currently favours (and in some cases mandates) animal testing requirements on cosmetics products and associated ingredients. However, regions including the European Union do not accept cosmetics imports tested on animals. Alternatives to animal testing are not only seen as safer, cheaper and more ethical, but will increase the number of export markets open to Chinese cosmetics companies, hence supporting job creation for disadvantaged communities and inclusive sustainable economic growth.

The current animal testing requirement on imported cosmetics presents a barrier to UK (and international) exporters of cosmetics products who would benefit from adoption of better and safer cosmetics testing methods in China.

Step 1 – Adoption of standards

  • Training and dissemination around International Standards for safety assessment will lead to their adoption and use
  • Cosmetics business opportunities will increase if International Standards are adopted in China
  • Adoption and use of International Standards in China will lead to a reduction (and ultimately elimination) of the need to test cosmetics products on animals whilst assuring the safety of cosmetics in China

Step 2 – Piloting of standards

  • BSI and NMPA have proposed to pilot the implementation of suitable standards for cosmetics in China

Pilot projects will support selected Chinese companies adopt better and safer manufacturing practices, representing a move away from animal testing methods and other less safe testing methods.