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China’s Animal Testing Laws: Cosmetics Made in China vs. Sold in China

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When it comes to understanding China’s animal testing laws and requirements for cosmetics, there’s been a lot of confusion about whether the laws apply to cosmetics that are made in China and cosmetics that are sold in China.

Made in China vs. Sold in China

Cosmetics are required to be tested on animals by law in China, but are those laws imposed on cosmetics that are made or sold in China?

Only cosmetics that are sold in China are required to be registered and therefore required to be tested on animals by law.

That means, cruelty-free companies can manufacture or make their cosmetics in China, but just as long as they are not selling their product in-stores in China, then none of their products are required to be tested on animals as required by China’s laws.

Selling In-stores or Online

Companies can sell their products to the Chinese market through an online store without having their products tested on animals. China’s animal testing laws only requires imported cosmetics that are sold in a physical store in Mainland China.

The Chinese government conducts mandatory animal tests on all cosmetic products imported into the country. The government may also conduct animal tests on items pulled from store shelves. Therefore, even if a cosmetics company does not test their products or ingredients on animals, if they sell their products in China they cannot be considered cruelty-free. (HSI)

An Exception – Hong Kong

The only exception could be made is selling in Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is part of China, they have their own political system and Hong Kong does not follow the same animal testing requirements as Mainland China.

Summary:

  • Only cosmetics sold in-stores in Mainland China are required to be tested on animals
  • Cosmetics that are made in China are not required to be tested on animals
  • China’s animal testing requirements only apply to cosmetics sold in-stores and does not extend to cosmetics sold online
  • Hong Kong is exempt from China’s animal testing laws as they have their own political system
8 Responses
  • Phoebe
    July 16, 2018

    Hi do know if all of the cosmetics/ingredients of a said brand are tested on animals so that some may be sold in China or is it only the cosmetic products that are sold to/in China are the ones that are tested? Thankyou ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Emily
    March 21, 2018

    Do you know if items sold on Taobao need to be animal tested?

  • Emily
    March 7, 2018

    I remember that Macao is the other exception like Hong Kong, for they also have their own political system.

  • mae
    February 23, 2018

    so crazy that i found this article on google! i was at ulta yesterday and all of the brands i use are labeled CF or V and for some reason i was checking the labels and saw printed on the back Made in China. i was freaking out and was thinking how i have to transition again to new products. thanks so much for sharing this info!!! it really helped put my mind as ease about this topic.

  • Joedi
    January 23, 2018

    Very helpful post, thank you!

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