India is soon expected to become South Asia’s first cruelty-free cosmetics country with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare proposing to ban the import of cosmetics tested on animals.

Humane Society International, India’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign manager, Alokparna Sengupta, applauded the Ministry for introducing a draft notification in this regard and said many months of campaigning to ban import of animal-tested cosmetics paid off, according to a press release here.

A legislative rule prohibiting animal testing for cosmetics within India has completed its 45-day public consultation period in March and was expected to be implemented soon. The ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the country would come into force once a notification was issued.

Regarding the move to ban import of animal-tested cosmetics, she said the authorities have decided to have a mandatory registration of imported cosmetics. Those importing them would have to declare that the products were cruelty-free.

Currently, India was importing cosmetics from 61 countries, including Thailand, China, USA, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland. Lip make-up, eye make-up, powders, shampoos, creams are some of the products.

Ms. Alokparna said the move to ban imported cosmetics tested on animals would mostly impact those brought in from China, Thailand and Korea as there was no ban on animal testing in those countries.

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