China cosmetics sampling inspections are to be strengthened through newly proposed “Administrative Measures for the Sampling Inspection of Cosmetics” draft for comment.
The measures shall strengthen the management of the whole process of sampling, inspection, re-inspection and handling of objections, verification and disposal, and information disclosure. They include 8 chapters and 63 articles.
Products concerned by China cosmetics sampling inspections
The sampling inspection of cosmetics should focus on six categories of products:
- Children’s cosmetics and special cosmetics
- Cosmetics containing new raw materials
- Cosmetics which are/have been subject to adverse reaction monitoring, safety risk monitoring, complaints and reports, public opinion monitoring, or other regulatory work
- Cosmetics which have had a relatively high failure rate of previous sampling inspections
- Cosmetics which have wide circulation and the high frequency of use
- Cosmetics which have high safety risks.
Location of cosmetics sampling
Cosmetics producers and operators will not be informed in advance about the sampling. There are two scenarios for where the samples are collected from:
- On site, in which case a certificate of the sampling undertaken will be presented to representatives of the manufacturer or economic operators
- Online, in which case a simulated online shopping process will be carried out but neither the manufacturer nor the economic operator will be informed of the purpose of purchase.
If during the course of sampling it is found that the following circumstances are suspected, then the sampling staff shall file a case for investigation in accordance with law:
- Special cosmetics that have not been registered
- Ordinary cosmetics that have not been filed for sale or import
- Cosmetics that have exceeded their expiration date
- Imported cosmetics without Chinese labels
- Cosmetics with prohibited contents
- Other situations suspected of violating the law.
Investigations of overseas cosmetics manufacturers
In terms of “investigation and risk control of registrants and filers”, the cosmetics sampling inspection measures stipulate that when investigations are conducted on overseas cosmetics registrants and filers, they may entrust their Domestic Responsible Agent (DRA). The DRA is allowed to assist in investigations, sign and receive relevant law enforcement documents, etc.
Cosmetics sampling inspection reports
An inspection conclusion report will be issued by the inspecting agency on whether the inspection results of the sampled products comply with the regulations. This will be based on the compulsory national standards, technical specifications, and the technical requirements specified in the registration or filing materials of cosmetics.
The inspection conclusion is the judgment made by the inspector about the product quality and safety risk of the sampled product from a technical point of view.
Unless otherwise provided for in the sampling inspection plan, the inspection institution shall issue an inspection report within 30 working days from the date when the sampling unit delivers the sample.
Cosmetics that have failed the inspection
After the cosmetics registrant/filer receives the inspection report and the sampling inspection result notification of the products that do not meet the regulations or have problems, they shall immediately stop production and recall the cosmetics that have been put on the market for sale in accordance with Article 53 of the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Production and Operation of Cosmetics. The registrant/filer shall notify relevant operators and consumers to stop operating and using cosmetics in the following scenarios:
(1) Where prohibited raw materials are detected in the sampled products, the production of all products that may involve the prohibited raw materials shall be stopped;
(2) Where the microbiological test items of the sampled product do not comply with the provisions, the production of all products in the production workshop of the product shall be stopped;
(3) If the sampled product is found to be unqualified for inspection items other than prohibited raw materials or microorganisms, the cosmetics registrant or recorder shall assess the quality defects or other problems existing in the product and whether it may endanger human health, and decide on its own the scope of products to be stopped.
Cosmetics registrants/filers shall immediately carry out self-examination to find out the reasons for the quality and safety risks of the products and carry out rectification. If the self-inspection finds that there are serious risks and hidden dangers in the quality management system of cosmetics production, the production and operation of all products shall be stopped immediately. After the completion of the self-inspection and rectification, the cosmetics registrant/filer shall evaluate the quality management system of cosmetics production, and only after the assessment is that the risk factors affecting quality and safety are eliminated can production resume.
Penalties for failure to comply with decisions
If the overseas cosmetics registrant or filer refuses to comply with the relevant administrative penalty decision, the registrant will be prohibited from importing cosmetics for 10 years.
The measures also contain provisions regarding:
- provision of false information or concealment of information
- objections to the authenticity of samples
- time periods for retaining samples
- cost of sampling
- amongst others.
Read the full measures on cosmetics sampling inspections in China here.
If you would like to know more about China cosmetics sampling inspections or learn about our services below then please contact us:
- China Domestic Responsible Agent for Cosmetics
- General Cosmetics Filing
- Special Cosmetics Registration
- New Ingredient Registration
- Cosmetic Ingredient Code Application
- Cosmetics Testing Services