Reading Time: 2 minutes The change comes into effect this May, and follows an easing of animal testing regulations in China over the past few years. Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

China has ended its mandatory animal testing requirements for imported cosmetics products that fall into the ‘general’ category.

The announcement was revealed in a statement from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) this week.

Cruelty-free

Currently, the country requires animal testing for beauty products sold within its borders. This means for any brand to sell in China, they must submit to testing products on animals first.

The new rules mean imported cosmetics that fall in the ‘general’ category won’t be required to submit to the mandatory tests.

This, in turn, means cruelty-free brands could make their way onto shelves in China soon. However, they must still meet the remaining requirements.

The change comes into effect on May 1.

‘Major progress’

According to the Leaping Bunny Program, which regulates products and campaigns against animal testing, it is ‘major progress’.

However, ‘lots’ of steps remain for companies wishing to sell in China.

‘General’ cosmetic products are products excluding hair dye, perming products, freckle removal and whitening products, as well a sunscreen, the organization claimed.

‘Wonderful news’

The change means ‘general’ cosmetic products won’t be submitted to mandatory animal testing

Animal testing end

Accidentally Vegan UK echoed the news. The Instagram account claimed the move is a sign that ‘change is coming’.

Campaigners have long called for change. China ‘signaled’ a possible end to the requirement last year.

Additionally, two non-animal test methods have since been accepted. As a result, ‘countless’ animals avoided certain tests.

‘Exciting milestone’

Animal rights charity, PETA, celebrated the change.

However, science policy manager, Dr. Julia Baines confirmed that companies will still be required to pay for tests on special use products.

She said: “At PETA, we’ve worked on this issue long and hard. We celebrate the cruelty-free steps China is taking to spare animals the pain of cosmetics being put in their eyes, applied to their shaved skin, or forced down their throats.

“The animal-testing exemptions apply only to imported non–special use products, like shampoo, body wash, lotion, and make-up, with certain conditions imposed…So the forthcoming implementation of the exemptions is an exciting milestone, but animals used in testing in that country still need our help.

This article was updated on March 7 to include the quote from PETA

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.