Vietnam is part of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), a grouping of 10 South Asian countries including the rapidly-growing emerging countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Cosmetics regulations in ASEAN mirror European cosmetics testing legislation known as the EU Cosmetics Directive, with one difference: there is no ban on animal testing similar to the one posed in Europe on March 11 this year.
Only active tester
Vietnam is currently the only ASEAN country actively testing cosmetics on animals; however, the country is a step closer to ending this practice as Cruelty Free International is funding a breakthrough project to enable Vietnamese laboratories to convert to non-animal alternatives for cosmetics tests.
“I am delighted that the Vietnamese authorities have responded to our call to move away from using animals to test cosmetics,” says Michelle Thew, chief executive of Cruelty Free International.
“This collaboration marks a step-change in the country’s reliance on animal testing and represents real progress for animals, bringing us a significant step closer to a ban on animal testing for cosmetics in ASEAN.”
Last year, Cruelty Free International visited Vietnam, resulting in a landmark agreement in principle with State testing laboratories to convert to non-animal alternative tests for cosmetics.
The next stage is now a further visit by Cruelty Free International Director of Policy, Dr Nick Palmer, to kick-start a detailed scoping study by alternatives experts IIVS (Institute for In Vitro Sciences).
The project is being made possible by a grant from Cruelty Free International, which hopes to follow up with a full training programme later in 2013, which will see Vietnam switch to non-animal tests for cosmetics.
Once cosmetics animal tests end in Vietnam, Cruelty Free International hopes to make rapid progress towards a full ban on animal tests for cosmetics throughout ASEAN.