How to enter China cosmetics market ? — product registration guide

OKOMP Marketing 29 May, 2015

Although over 80%  market share of China cosmetics market is dominate by international companies,  this still can not reduce the foreign cosmetic companies’ passion to enter this market.

As you may already know, the cosmetic product registration is very complicate in China. In this article we will discover how to register your product in China, process, documents, time, cost etc.

registration 3


First you need to know is the 3 key authorities that involve in the cosmetic products registration process.

1. State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA)


It is a key product safety regulator and supervising authority for the cosmetics industry, particularly for product and ingredient registration.

  • Department of Supervision of Health Food and Cosmetics ( 保健食品化妆品监管司)
  • Division of Licensing II (许可二处)
    Registers cosmetic products and new ingredients, and grants accreditation to testing laboratories


2. Local Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus


Although CIQ labels will no longer be required for imported cosmetics from Feb. 1, 2012, China Inspection and Quarantine’s inspection is mandatory


3. Testing laboratories

Accredited by SFDA, providing authoritative safety testing reports for the registration process and regular safety inspections

SFDA has so far accredited 17 laboratories to conduct safety tests, e.g., Shanghai Institute of Food and Drug Control (上海食品药品检验所), and the number is expected to grow


The Product Registration Process will be similar for different categories,  but the licensing time will be longer if it is  special- purpose, or new ingredient. I would not suggest companies new to China , register for new ingredient to enter the market. Because it will be more difficult, and take much longer to get the licence.

registration 1 

Registration time 

Registration 2

Cosmetic product registration documents checklist:

  1. Application form for licence
  2. Product ingredients information
  3. Active ingredients, evidence of use and inspection methods
  4. Manufacturing technique and diagram
  5. Product quality standard
  6. Testing report from a testing laboratory approved by SFDA and related materials
  7. Product package (sales package & product label)  — better to register the trade mark and brand name before you apply for product registration
  8. Certified document for production and sales in the manufacturing country / region (Need to be sold on the market for more than 1 year)
  9. The statement or certificate on related problems of ‘Mad Cow Disease’, if the original manufacturing country had “Mad Cow Disease”
  10. Power of attorney, if an agent has been appointed to help process the application
  11. Any additional documents helpful for the approval process



Registration cost:

For ordinary cosmetics product, the registration fee is around £1000

For special- purpose cosmetic product, the registration fee ranged from £1000 – £4000  (including the testing, documents certification, documents translation)



All the documents need to be original, plus a product sample.

Animal test is required for all the imported cosmetics, some special- purpose cosmetics products requires human test as well.

Every product need a registration number unless exemptions on special categories.

Hope this registration check list is helpful, you are welcome to share or send to people who may be interested in this.


* Diagrams from APCO.