From Oct 1, all imported cosmetics to be regulated for safety

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Safety of all your favourite imported cosmetics, ranging from skin lighteners to hair care products, will now be ensured, with the government ready to make their registration compulsory in India.

In a first-time move to legally regulate the multi-crore imported personal care product industry, the Health Ministry has approved draft guidelines which bar the sales of imported cosmetics in India unless their manufacturers get the products registered with the apex drug regulator Central Drug Standards Control Organisation.

For this purpose, the government is setting up a dedicated wing under the CDSCO’s Drug Controller General of India, which will act as the registration authority for imported cosmetics.


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The wing will come up at CDSCO’s Noida complex.

“The wing will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to monitor the range of imported cosmetics for their safety. At present, there is no system to regulate such imports. The step will ensure the safety of consumers using these products,” a senior Health Ministry official told PTI.

The government has notified amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules making it compulsory for global cosmetic manufacturers or their authorised agents and subsidiaries in India to seek registrations of cosmetic brands before sale in the country.

The Guidelines for Import and Registration of Cosmetics mentions, “Each cosmetic category — like lipstick, mascara, tooth pastes, soaps etc – will carry a registration fee of USD 250 or equivalent Indian rupees. Any violation will evoke penalties in the form of fines and even jail term.”

At the time of registration, manufacturers of imported cosmetics will be required to declare the chemical composition of raw materials used and finished products.

“The strength of raw materials and the shelf life of cosmetics must also be provided and all these should be in conformity with the specifications laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards,” the Draft Guidelines for Import of Cosmetics says.

“The idea is to ensure consumer safety. Imported cosmetics worth thousands of crores are being used and these are unregulated at present,” Health Ministry officials say.

The need for regulation was felt in the wake of unsafe cosmetic products entering the supply chain.

A WHO study recently warned against the use of skin lightening soaps, creams and cosmetics like eye make-ups, cleansing products and mascaras saying these could contain mercury. (More)

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