China Business, Trade and Competition Bulletin - June 2013: China Renames Regulatory Agency: What’s in Store for the Cosmetics and Medical Device Industries?

In March 2013, the National People’s Congress of China formally changed the name of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), elevating it back to a ministerial-level agency with complete authority over China’s food and drug regulatory regime. Reporting directly to the State Council, the CFDA is responsible for formulating policies and development plans related to cosmetics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and food safety as well as drafting related laws and regulations. While largely a symbolic gesture to communicate to the public that the Chinese government takes product and food safety seriously, the move to designate CFDA as a ministerial-level agency can also be viewed as part of China’s broader strategy to improve consumer confidence, enhance product safety and better regulate these industries. Whether this reshuffling translates into immediate tangible benefits or burdens for business, particularly for the cosmetics and medical device industries, remains to be seen.

Cosmetics Industry -

The registration and supervision of cosmetics is regulated by the newly reorganized Department of Health Food and Cosmetics Supervision (DHFCS). While this department continues to have broad management and supervisory authority over the cosmetics industry, there have been no official announcements since its reorganization regarding reform of its primary roles, i.e., the DHFCS is still charged with the same specific functions prior to its reorganization...

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