China ending pre market animal testing: what you need to know

This past month has been a critical one in the cruelty-free world, as a huge victory has finally been achieved for thousands of animals involved in Chinese laboratories.

At the beginning of July, China's State Council finalized new regulations regarding pre-market animal testing for all imported ordinary cosmetics. Starting from January 1st, 2021, China will end mandatory pre-market animal testing for beauty products not manufactured in China but sold there.


The new regulations will apply to all ordinary cosmetics, such as shampoo, blusher, perfume, that will no longer have to be pre-market tested.

Special cosmetics, such as sunscreens and deodorants, will still be required to be tested on animals.


China has always required products not manufactured in the country but distribuited there to undergo two types of testing:

1. PRE-MARKET tests, such as eye and skin irritation testing, has been mandatory on all kind of imported cosmetics and will be required until Jan 1st, 2021. This means that all beauty products manufactured in another country but sold in China must be re-tested on animals even if they have been already tested in the manufacturing country.

The end of this type of tests is surely a huge victory that will save the lives of so many laboratory animals.

2. POST-MARKET tests will remain mandatory on all types of cosmetics if a Chinese authority requires so. This basically means that every product sold in China can be pulled off the shelves and be re-tested on animals for further investigations on regular inspections by provincial authorities, especially if there have been reported consumers complains, reactions or safety problems.

This type of tests is required even for cosmetics manufactured in China, as long as they are sold there. Pre-market testing is not required for products manufactured and sold in China.

Keep in mind that if a brand manufactures in China BUT does not sell its products there, animal testing is not required, so this is why you can sometimes read that a product has been made in China but is certified cruelty-free.


Although this is without doubts a HUGE step ahead that will spare thousands of animals lives, there are a several factors that MUST be taken into consideration and that will certainly not make any brand distributing in China cruelty-free.

1. The new Chinese regulations only apply to ordinary cosmetics, so special ones, such as deodorants or sunscreens, will still be required to be pre-market tested. 

2. Post-market testing will remain mandatory, so every beauty product distributed in China may be re-tested on animals at any point. It is clear that no brand distributing there can be considered cruelty-free.


Although still not enough to consider China a safe country for cruelty-free cosmetics, it is clear that they will sooner or later move to this direction.

If huge steps ahead like this can be achieved, is all thanks to people like you who believe in a better world with no animal cruelty. It is amazing what strong, powerful message our actions and purchasing preferences can give.

Keep on buying certified cruelty-free cosmetics only, keep on being the voice of those who cannot speak. And let's celebrate this big victory today, in the name of all those innocent furry friends whose lives will be spared!

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