China Cosmetics & Beauty Market

Export opportunities


China is the world’s second-largest cosmetics market; and with increased urbanisation, disposable income, and social media influence, the beauty and personal care sector is seeing burgeoning demand for higher quality and premium products. The total Chinese cosmetics market is large and growing, with forecasts available from Statista indicating that it could be worth around £50bn in total in 2021. 

Exporting to China has always been challenging for British beauty brands because of the need for animal testing. However, on 3 January 2020, the China State Council announced the approval of revised cosmetics regulations, outlining requirements for animal testing exemption. The new regulations which come into effect on 1 May 2021 make it possible for British brands with ethical considerations within their core values to access China’s huge market and consumer base.


Educational webinars

DIT has run a series of webinars which featured seven targeted sessions delivered by industry experts covering all key aspects on navigating China’s regulatory changes and how to comply with the new regulations to the market segment’s landscape and consumer trends.  To access the webinar recordings and slides please click here.


Guidance on GMPC application process

The exemption from animal testing is now available for general cosmetic products being imported into China provided a number of requirements are met. Prominent among these is a certificate which confirms compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice standards (a GMPC) and which has been issued by a government authority in the country of manufacture. 

For UK manufactured cosmetics, the GMPC will be issued by the Import Licensing Branch (ILB) in the Department for International Trade on behalf of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

Applications can be submitted online by a UK based Responsible Person on behalf of the cosmetic brand. 

An explanation of the procedure for applying, in the form of a simple flowchart together with FAQs, can be found here.

Download a copy of the OPSS letter to NMPA if you encounter any problems with the authorities not accepting your GMPC.


Help for your business

Get free local export support

For further information and guidance on how to access the China beauty market get in touch with Doris Zhou from DIT China Team (Shanghai).

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