China cosmetic e-commerce operators will be subject to new Measures (No.36-2023) on September 1, 2023 when the Supervision and Administration Measures on Online Operation of Cosmetics come into effect.
The Measures aim to strengthen online cosmetics operations, service behaviors of cosmetic e-commerce platforms, ensure quality and safety, and protect consumer health within the People’s Republic of China.
The Measures apply to cosmetic e-commerce operators, including platform operators, operators on the platform, and those who operate cosmetics through self-built websites or other online services.
The Measures do not apply to cross-border e-commerce retail imported cosmetics, which must follow relevant regulations on the supervision of cross-border e-commerce retail imported goods in China.
With the rapid development of the internet economy, online shopping for cosmetics has become one of the main channels for cosmetics sales. Purchasing online cosmetics meant providing convenience for consumers, but it came at the cost of important and frequent quality and safety issues. Poor supervision and sampling and poor detection of risk monitoring problems have been found for online cosmetics in comparison to cosmetics sold through traditional sales channels.
In order to mitigate these issues, improve the quality and safety of cosmetics for consumers, and regulate online cosmetics businesses, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has issued these new Measures.
The full text of the “Measures” consists of five chapters and 35 articles, including general provisions, platform management, management of cosmetics operators within the platform, supervision and management, and supplementary provisions. Here we provide an overview.
China cosmetic e-commerce platform operators
- Cosmetic e-commerce operators must comply with relevant laws, regulations, rules, mandatory national standards, and technical specifications, operate in good faith, and ensure the quality and safety of cosmetics. Cosmetic e-commerce platform operators must establish and effectively implement cosmetic quality and safety management systems, formulate platform service agreements, and set transaction rules in accordance with relevant requirements.
- Platform operators are required to establish a cosmetic quality and safety management department or assign appropriate personnel, responsible for implementing cosmetic quality and safety management systems and conducting daily inspections of cosmetic operators on the platform. Platform operators must verify and register the real information of cosmetic operators applying to enter the platform, establish registration archives, and update them at least once every six months. Operators must keep the identity information of cosmetic operators on the platform for no less than three years from the date of their exit.
- Cosmetic e-commerce platform operators must establish a daily inspection system for cosmetic operators on the platform, including product information release inspections and daily operating activity inspections. Inspections should focus on verifying the registration status of cosmetics, consistency of product information with NMPA’s official website, and compliance with labeling laws. Platform operators are encouraged to conduct quality and safety monitoring through sampling inspections and investigate product quality and safety risks of cosmetics admitted to platforms.
China cosmetic operators
- Cosmetic operators on the platform must establish and implement a purchase inspection and recording system, check and properly keep the relevant certificates of direct suppliers, and truthfully record product and supplier information. Operators must fulfill the obligation of cosmetic information disclosure, comprehensively, truthfully, accurately, clearly, and timely disclosing the cosmetic label information consistent with the registration or notification documents. The disclosed cosmetic label information should include all contents on the label of their operated cosmetics, and the product name and the product executive standard number must be displayed prominently on the product display page. Other disclosed information about product safety and efficacy claims must be consistent with the relevant content on the label information and abstract of efficacy claim basis in the registration or notification documents of their operated cosmetics.
- Additionally, cosmetic operators on the platform should display the hygiene permit information of their operated special cosmetics or general cosmetics. They must actively cooperate with the cosmetic e-commerce platform operators in carrying out quality and safety management activities, timely and accurately provide relevant product information to the cosmetic e-commerce platform operators, and cooperate with the cosmetic e-commerce platform operators to take necessary measures to control risks.
- The cosmetic operators on the platform must pay attention to publicly available regulatory information on product quality and safety of the operated cosmetics. They should immediately stop operating any specific batch of cosmetics that are considered non-compliant by the medical products administration departments through sampling testing. In the case of non-compliant cosmetics, cosmetic operators on the platform should prominently disclose the publicly available regulatory information that shows such cosmetics are non-compliant during the sampling testing or the report of the self-inspection conducted by the cosmetic registrants or notifiers, and the relevant information should be continuously disclosed for one year for reference by consumers when purchasing.
- If cosmetic operators on the platform discover that the cosmetics for sale have quality defects or other problems that may endanger human health, they must immediately stop the operation and notify the relevant cosmetics registrants and notifiers, who should implement a recall in accordance with the law. Cosmetic operators on the platform should also store and transport cosmetics according to the provisions of relevant laws and regulations, as well as the requirements indicated on the cosmetics label. They must regularly check and timely dispose of deteriorated or overdue cosmetics.
- Cosmetic operators on the platform are required to create and follow a purchase inspection and record-keeping system. They must verify and maintain proper documentation from suppliers and accurately record product and supplier information. Operators are responsible for disclosing all relevant information about their products, including accurate, clear, and comprehensive cosmetic label information that aligns with registration or notification documents.
- Additionally, cosmetic operators should display hygiene permit information for their special or general cosmetics. They must collaborate with e-commerce platform operators in carrying out quality and safety management activities, providing relevant product information and working together to manage risks.
- Cosmetic operators must stay informed about public regulatory information related to their products’ quality and safety. They should immediately stop selling any products deemed non-compliant by medical product administration departments. In cases where products are found to be non-compliant during sampling tests, operators must prominently display this information for one year to inform consumers.
- If operators discover their cosmetics have quality defects or other issues that could endanger human health, they must halt sales and notify relevant parties to initiate a product recall. Operators should also store and transport cosmetics according to legal regulations and label requirements. They must regularly inspect and dispose of expired or deteriorated cosmetics.
Read the original announcement on the new NMPA measures for China cosmetic e-commerce operators.
Read our article on the draft measures.
Discover our services for cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients manufacturers.