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India: No Import of Cosmetics Tested on Animals

(Oct. 17, 2014) Under new rules that will enter into effect in India in November 2014, “[n]o cosmetic that has been tested on animals … shall be imported into the country.” (Madhur Singh, India Bans Import of Cosmetics Tested on Animals, BNA DAILY REPORT FOR EXECUTIVES, Bloomberg BNA online subscription database.) The rules, called the Drugs and Cosmetics (Fifth Amendment) Rules 2014, amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, through the insertion of the above-stated new provision as rule 135-B. (Drugs and Cosmetics (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2014, THE GAZETTE OF INDIA EXTRAORDINARY, REGD. NO. D. L.-33004/99, PART II—SEC. 3(i), (Oct. 13, 2014) [scroll down to find English-language version].) The new rule comes into effect 30 days after its publication in the official gazette. (Singh, supra.)

Earlier this year, India introduced prohibitions against in-country use of animals to test cosmetics and also banned such testing for household products, removing animal tests from the approval requirements for bringing “soaps and other surface active agents” to market in India. (Id.) Subsequently, animal testing in pharmacy education courses was banned, “through a gazette notification that said animal experimentations would be replaced by computer-assisted modules.” (Id.) The ban on animal testing came into force on May 23, 2014. (Historic Milestone Celebrated as India Finalises Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban, Humane Society International website (May 23, 2014).) Applauding the new cosmetics rules, Human Society International noted that India has become “the first animal cruelty-free zone in South Asia.” (HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free India Makes History as India Bans Import of Animal-TestedCosmetics, Human Society International website (Oct. 14, 2014).)

According to Dr. Chaitanya Koduri, Science Policy Adviser at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the bans on animal testing for cosmetics and household products that are already in place have adversely affected “many companies, especially those that have manufacturing plants in India from where they export to countries such as China that explicitly require animal testing for imports.” (Singh, supra.) The new ban on imports, he indicated, would in particular negatively affect European companies “that have been turning to India to sell products that they could no longer sell at home after the EU’s ban on animal testing for cosmetics.” (Id.)

The European Union’s final deadline to fully ban animal-tested cosmetics in the EU market went into effect on March 11, 2013; Directive 2003/15/EC had introduced provisions on animal testing into the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC, resulting in a ban on such testing as of 2004 for cosmetic products and as of 2009 for cosmetic ingredients and a ban on marketing cosmetics with animal-tested ingredients from March 2009 (this ban had been extended to the 2013 deadline “for the most complex human health effects”). (Press Release, European Commission, Full EU Ban on Animal Testing for Cosmetics Enters into Force (Mar. 11, 2013).)