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New Draft Rules on Classification of Cosmetics Released for CFDA registration

9. March 2018

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) issued the new Draft Rules on the Classification of Cosmetics on January 17, 2018. Currently cosmetics sold in China are subject to different regulatory requirements depending on their classification as “cosmetics for special use(s)” or “cosmetics for non-special use(s)” which may change soon.

The reason for drafting these new regulations is the development of the cosmetics industry and its regulatory needs that are now more complex than they were two decades ago when the current regulations were implemented. According to the Draft Rules and its explanatory note, the current classification will remain effective and detailed classifications (represented by digital codes) will apply for the purposes of CFDA filling, registration, administration and statistics of cosmetics.


Classification of cosmetics


According to the new Draft Rules, the digital code for identification of each cosmetic product consists of four categories:

  1. The function of the cosmetic (e.g. hair dye, hydrating)
  2. The relevant body part (e.g. hair, skin, eyes)
  3. The form of the cosmetic (e.g. cream, lotion, powder)
  4. The target population (e.g. general population, pregnant women, men)

Each category is represented by two digits within the eight-digit code.

The impact of the new Draft Rules on cosmetics already registered at CFDA remains unclear as the new classification does not modify the legal framework currently applicable. As CFDA may require the digital code to be included on the product label, companies already selling products in China are advised to monitor upcoming publications on this topic.

It is expected that there will be more announcements, revisions and changes to the CFDA regulations in the near future. You will find updated information in our News Section on our website, where we will keep you informed regarding official announcements.


Please do not hesitate to call (UK: +44 2071931135, Rest of Europe: +49 69 2713769150, US: +1 773 6542673) or e-mail and we will be happy to answer questions.

MPR Author

About the author: Julian Busch is founder and Managing Director of MPR China Certification GmbH
Publisher: MPR China Certification GmbH

Tel.: +49 69 271 37 69 150