With the cosmetic industry facing some changes due to the recently enforced Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, South Korea is going in the same direction insofar as a law was passed that intends to ban, for given endpoints, the use of animal testing for cosmetics.

Corée du Sud : les tests de produits cosmétiques sur animaux bientôt interdits

Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, cosmetics, and animal testing

Enforced in 2009, the Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 aims to ensure a better safety of cosmetic products for consumers. It requires cosmetic brands to perform a thorough safety assessment for each product before placing it on the market. This regulation has had strong international impacts on the cosmetic industry, insofar as other countries such as Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, etc. are now enforcing laws that tend to go in the same direction.

Indeed, in Europe, when a cosmetic product is placed on the market, the Responsible Person must keep a Product Information File on it according to the Article 11. The product information file should contain:

  1. A description of the cosmetic product;
  2. The cosmetic product safety report (Article 10);
  3. Description of the method of manufacturing and a statement on compliance with good manufacturing practice (Article 8);
  4. Nature and effect of the cosmetic product;
  5. Data on any animal testing performed by the manufacturer, his agents or suppliers, relating to the development or safety assessment of the cosmetic product or its ingredients.

What are the restrictions on animal testing and when will they apply?

The ban covers cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients produced in and imported into South Korea. Nonetheless, the law is only applicable to endpoints where the use of non-animal alternative tests has been accepted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS). Moreover, some tests for cosmetics currently have no alternative tests, such as skin and eye irritation, skin sensitization, and repeated dose toxicity.

The National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee accepted the draft on the 26th of November, and is set to apply it starting 2018.

NGO’s reactions to the new South Korean law

The Cruelty Free International (CFI) called it “excellent news” and added that South Korea is “joining the lengthening list of nations that no longer see animal experiments as worthwhile for cosmetics”.

However, Human Society International (HSI) said that all alternatives approved by the OECD must be quickly adopted by the MFDS, so that the new law effectively reduces the number of animal testing in cosmetics.

Would you like to learn more about international regulations on cosmetics?

Feel free to contact EcoMundo’s experts by mail ([email protected]) or by phone (+1 778 231 1607).

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  • Magali Francisco

    Hello Erúzia,

    Thank you for your comment.
    Unfortunately, we are only able to provide information on EU & US cosmetic compliance and are not specialized in South Korean regulations.
    We hope you will be able to find the informationn you seek.


    Fri 08/12/2017 - 17:03
  • Eruzia .


    Please, I am looking for the list of cosmetics ingredients permited and restricted in South Korea.
    Do you know where I can find?

    Thank you.

    Best regards from Brazil.

    Thu 05/10/2017 - 20:01

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