Revised Cosmetics Act
Revised Cosmetics Act
  • Korea IT Times (
  • 승인 2012.02.08 09:37
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- Sales of sample cosmetics will be banned and the use-by date label will be shown.

- Manufacturers and Retailers shall prove that product information they provide are accurate and true.

- The Revised Cosmetics Act was implemented on February 5th.


Ministry of Health and Welfare (Minister Rim, Chae Min) said that the revised Cosmetics Act that was promulgated in August last year was implemented on February 5th after a grace period of six months. Major details in the revised Cosmetics Act directly related to the consumers’ convenience are as follows:


-Sales of sample cosmetics are prohibited.

- Sample cosmetics should be offered to consumers for the purpose of promotion, personal testing, etc, free of charge.

- There has been no legal ground for punishment or control even when retailers sell sample cosmetics to consumers either in-store or online.

- Since there is no legal obligation that requires sample products to have the use-by date and use after the opening of the products indicated, there is a possibility that consumers may suffer damage due to quality degradation. This is a result from passing the use-by date and it is difficult to prevent any possible damage caused by counterfeit or fake products.

- In this regard, the revised Cosmetics Act states that sales of sample items that are offered to consumers for testing for the purpose of promotion and sales facilitation are strictly prohibited. (Article 16, Paragraph 1).

* When sample products are sold for profit, the seller will be subject to less than one year of imprisonment and 5 million won or less of penalty.


Secondly, period of use from the opening of the product or the use-by date is required to be indicated on the product package.

- Manufacturers and retailers are obligated to indicate the “use-by date” or the “use period after the opening of the product”instead of the “manufacturing year and date” on the package so that consumers may have more accurate information that they need when choosing cosmetics. (Article 10, Para 1)

- Previously, manufacturers indicated the manufacturing year and date selectively, but the revised Act requires them to indicate the “use-by date” or the “use period after the opening of the product” on the package (Article 10, Paragraph 2).

 Manufacturers and distributors shall be able to provide the product information indicated and advertisement that they make and provide is accurate and true.

- This prevents exaggeration or false information and secures the public trust in the quality of cosmetics.

- In this regard, sellers shall be able to prove that the product information and advertisement that they provide are accurate and true.

- The commissioner of Food and Drug Administration can request manufacturing sellers for submission of related data if he/she sees that their product information needs verification as they could deceive or mislead consumers with false information. (Article 14).

- If the seller fails to submit verification data, the Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration will order the suspension of the advertisement of the concerned product. If the seller violates the order, he/she will be subjected to less than one year of imprisonment or 5 million won or less fine.


The Ministry of Health and Welfare expects that the revised Cosmetics Act will help ensure the safe use of cosmetics by consumers and enhance their right to accurate information. This will also improve consumers’ confidence in cosmetics quality through the prohibition of sales of sample products. The new way of indicating the manufacturing date and the adoption of the concept of manufacturing sellers’ obligation for verification of the product information and advertisement were implemented in the Act. 

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