Importing beauty products from China to the EU

Importing beauty products from China has gained popularity in recent years. We can notice more and more Asian cosmetics appearing in the western markets. This article will discuss requirements for beauty products on the European market, duty rates for such goods, their production areas in China, and more. We present all you need to know about importing beauty products from China to the EU in a nutshell.

Production areas for beauty products in China

When looking for a Chinese supplier, make sure to check the most significant production areas for your product. Many manufacturers of beauty products are located in the Guangdong Province, in cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, or Dongguan. To gain a wider choice, check also offers from Qingdao in the Shandong Province.

Chinese beauty products are also manufactured in the Zhejiang Province. Companies from Ningbo, Jinhua, Yiwu, and Yuyao have a large variety of such goods. If you still want to check more, see what sellers from Jinjiang in the Fujian Province or the city of Shanghai have in stock.

We marked all the locations on the map below.

Production areas for beauty products in China

Importing beauty products from China – Duty rates

Before importing any products into the European Union, it’s crucial to check their duty rates. You’ll find up-to-date information about tariffs in the TARIC system. It’s completely free to use and provides both customs rates and HS codes for any article. Both these details are essential for customs clearance.

Beauty products are primarily in Section VI “Products of the chemical or allied industries.” Customs rates for such articles from China are under the “ERGA OMNES” row.

Check duty rates for some of the beauty products from China:

  • Eye make-up preparations (3304200000) – 0%
  • Lip make-up preparations (3304100000) – 0%
  • Powders, whether or not compressed (3304910000) – 0%
  • Brushes for the application of cosmetics (9603309000) – 3.7%
  • Perfumes (3303001000) – 0%
  • Toilet waters (3303009000) – 0%
  • Personal deodorants and antiperspirants (3307200000) – 6.5%
  • Manicure or pedicure preparations (3304300000) – 0%
  • Shampoos (3305100000) – 0%
  • Hair lacquers (3305300000) – 0%
  • Preparations for permanent waving or straightening (3305200000) – 0%
  • Wigs, false beards, eyebrows and eyelashes, switchers and the like (6704900000) – 2.2%
  • Perfumed bath salts and other bath preparations (3307300000) – 6.5%
  • Dentifrices (3306100000) – 0%
  • Pre-shave, shaving or aftershave preparations (3307100000) – 6.5%
  • Shavers with self-contained electric motor (8510100000) – 2.2%

As you can see, duty rates on beauty products from China are low, and most of them don’t exceed 6.5%. However, keep in mind that importers of certain cosmetics are obliged to pay an excise tax in some European countries. Therefore, check if a destination country for your goods has such a law.

Requirements for importing beauty products from China to the EU

Every importer must check obligations for the target market in advance. Due to their intended use, the European Union strictly regulates the distribution of cosmetics. Consequently, you must know all the applicable regulations and ensure that your products comply with the safety and quality requirements. We’ve compiled some of the essential legal norms and obligations regarding beauty products to make it easier for you.

Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009

First and foremost, you must get familiar with the contents of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council on cosmetic products. It contains the necessary information about the requirements one must fulfill to sell cosmetics on the European market.

One of them is to draw up The Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR). Every cosmetic product must undergo testing and needs a complete set of applicable documentation. The CPSR is divided into two parts: part A and part B.

What information must they both include?

PART A – Cosmetic product safety information:

  • The quantitative and qualitative composition of a cosmetic
  • Physical and chemical properties of a substance and stability of a cosmetic product
  • Microbiological quality
  • Impurities, traces, information about the packaging material
  • Normal and reasonably foreseeable usage
  • Exposure to a cosmetic product or a substance
  • A toxicological profile of a substance
  • Possible side effects
  • Other information about a cosmetic product.

PART B – Cosmetic product safety assessment:

  • Assessment conclusion
  • Labeled warnings and instructions of use
  • Reasoning
  • Assessor’s credentials and approval of part B.

Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP)

Every cosmetic product must also be registered in the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal. It contains all the substances of this kind that appear on the European market. As an importer, you must register your product in the system and submit all the mandatory information about its specifications. The required data is then accessible to the relevant Competent Authorities. This way, they can supervise the market more efficiently.


Labeling beauty products

Before importing and selling cosmetics in the European Union, it’s crucial to know its labeling requirements for such products. You must provide information identifying the Responsible Person (a manufacturer or an importer) and an article (trade name).

Moreover, cosmetics labels contain:

  • An ingredients list, in decreasing order of weight of the ingredients
  • The nominal net
  • Warnings regarding the safe usage of a product
  • Date of production
  • Information on how long the product may be used (e.g., PAO – the period after opening)
  • What’s the product’s intended use (if it’s not obvious from its appearance)
  • A reference (batch number) for identification
  • Country of origin (if you’re importing, e.g., from China).

Examples of other norms and regulations concerning importing beauty products from China:

  1. Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council on detergents;
  2. Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and the Council on the EU Ecolabel;
  3. Commission Decision (EU) 2019/701 establishing a glossary of common ingredient names for use in the labeling of cosmetic products.

Depending on the product’s specification, they may be obliged to other requirements. For example, brushes for applying cosmetics are restricted by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). When it comes to electric and electrical appliances, e.g., shavers, they must have a CE mark and a complete set of documents (test reports, a CE certificate, and a Declaration of Conformity).

Importing beauty products from China – Cosmetics tested on animals

Before importing beauty products from China to the EU, please note that the EU banned the distribution of cosmetics tested on animals. On the other side, in China, the market for such products is closely controlled to prevent the appearance of poor quality substances and fakes. Therefore, testing on animals is still a widespread occurrence there. China is slowly beginning to abandon these practices but still has a long way to their complete prohibition.

However, when you manufacture cosmetics in China and then import them to the EU, animal testing is not required. Nevertheless, keep in mind that in some countries, they may be prohibited. Even if the testing took place outside of the European Union, such products cannot be distributed on its market.

It’s a critical factor to consider when you plan on importing beauty products from China to the EU.

Beauty products trade fairs in China

If you’re planning on importing from China, we encourage you to attend trade fairs organized throughout the country. It’s an excellent method to find a supplier. Such events give you an opportunity to talk to the sellers personally, check the quality of their goods on the spot, and negotiate their prices.

Below we’ve listed some of the beauty products trade fairs in China.

China Beauty Expo and Supply World

Localization: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), Shanghai

Official website:

China (Beijing) International Beauty Expo

Localization: China National Convention Center, Beijing

Official website:

Beijing Beauty Expo

Localization: China International Exhibition Center, Beijing

Official website:

China Import and Export Fair (Phase 2)

Localization: China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair Complex), Guangzhou

Official website:

China International Hair Fair

Localization: Poly World Trade Center, Guangzhou

Official website:

Shanghai International Beauty Hairdressing and Cosmetics Expo

Localization: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), Shanghai

Official website:

Importing beauty products from China to the EU – Summary

  • The Chinese beauty market keeps expanding, attracting the attention of international importers. 
  • Duty rates on importing beauty products from China are relatively low. However, one must always check if a destination country requires paying the excise tax for some of them.
  • The European Union strictly regulates the distribution of such products. Therefore, make sure your cosmetics meet all the requirements. They must be safe for consumers and the environment. 
  • Please note that cosmetics tested on animals are banned in all EU countries.
  • When looking for a supplier, make sure to verify them before placing an order. This way, you’ll know they’re trustworthy.
  • Also, check duty rates and requirements for importing beauty products from China to the US.