A new nationwide importation system that includes an electronic system to replace the paper filing systems and less restrictions on the port of entry for products should make the exercise a little easier for European players exporting products to the country for the first time.
China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) announced that the registration of imported non-specials cosmetics has been replaced by an electronic filing management system nationwide, last week.
Nomination of a responsible person
The new system means that prior to physically importing products, foreign manufacturers must nominate a domestic responsible person (RP) to make filing records using a dedicated filing system that forms part of the administration section of the NMPA website.
Once an online certificate is obtained, the manufacturer that then proceed with the importation and distribution process into China.
The RP must be registered in one of 11 free-trade zones, which includes Tianjin, Liaoning, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian, Henan, Hubei, Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan and Shanxi.
No limits to the port of entry
However, the new processing system means that there are no limits on the port of entry for the products, which means that the products do not have to go through the 11 free-trade zones where the RPs are located.
Likewise, RPs located in China but outside the 11 free-trade zones can still complete an online dossier submission, but will then have to complete the filing through direct contact with the NMPA.
Additionally, where as the paper filing system had a four-year validity period, the new online filing certificate has no limit once it has been approved.
More opportunity for European brands?
The China market for cosmetic and personal care products continues to show healthy growth rates, but in recent years higher quality domestically produced brands have been successful in carving bigger slices of the market.
Many foreign companies have found themselves hampered by tough and long-winded importation processes, as well as challenging regulatory processes, including required animal testing for many product formulations.
The China authorities have stressed that despite the relaxing and streamlining of the importation regulation process, the strict requirements on animal testing remain in place.