French cosmetics sector eyes Xi visit for reprieve on Chinese import rules

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French cosmetics sector eyes Xi visit: The world-famous French cosmetics industry is preparing for next week’s talks between President Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron in the hopes of easing the burden of China’s strict new import regulations, which require the disclosure of manufacturing know-how and formulas.

France has a crucial chance to voice its worries about the impending implementation of China’s safety laws, especially in respect to cosmetics like lipstick and perfumes, during President Xi’s forthcoming trip to Europe, which is happening against the background of strained economic relations.

The importance of cosmetics in the meeting’s discussions was highlighted by President Macron’s office in its preparations, which aimed to protect the interests of French enterprises. With roughly 2 billion euros ($2.15 billion) worth of skincare and cosmetics sold to China last year, second only in economic importance to aerospace items, France has a lot to lose as the world’s biggest cosmetics exporter.

A major obstacle to this economic connection is the forthcoming Chinese rules, which are expected to be implemented next year. Amid worries regarding IP rights, cosmetics exporters would be required to host Chinese inspectors in their facilities and provide extensive details about their production procedures to the Chinese government beginning in May 2025.

To alleviate these worries, French and Chinese officials have been meeting for the past year to consider a potential solution: the French government would take charge of inspecting some exports to make sure they are safe, rather than relying on Chinese inspectors. While protecting the intellectual property of French companies, this strategy seeks to maintain the greatest safety requirements for Chinese customers.

Emmanuel Guichard, secretary general of the French cosmetics industry association FEBEA, is optimistic that the next talks between Xi and Macron would provide an opportunity to formalize this proposal. L’Oréal, LVMH, and Coty are just a few of the well-known companies that are members of FEBEA.

As part of the deal, the DGCCRF, France’s consumer and anti-fraud watchdog, would be in charge of certifying the safety of French firms that meet certain criteria, giving them “white list” permission to export to China. Initiation of certification process conversations between the DGCCRF and China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) indicates progress towards a resolution that benefits both parties.

The need of a collaborative approach to address regulatory difficulties and sustain the mutually advantageous trade relationship between France and China in the cosmetics sector is highlighted as stakeholders await clarity on the contents of the agreement as negotiations develop.

Mia Collins

Mia's love for beauty innovation and her insights into modern lifestyle choices make her the go-to writer for readers seeking to stay ahead of the style curve.

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