The use of red/brown- and green-colored dots to classify vegetarian or non-vegetarian is a mandated practice for food products in India. These dots are labeled on the food products’ packaging. However, there is no such system for cosmetics in India that declares their vegetarian or non-vegetarian nature.

In this regard, a new voluntary indication for specifying the origin of cosmetic products was advised by the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) on September 10, 2021. The DTAB is the highest statutory decision-making body of the Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

CDCSO is responsible for regulating imported beauty and personal care products in India. Over the years, the DTAB had received several proposals and VIP references for an indication to classify products as per their vegetarian or non-vegetarian origin. After detailed deliberation, the Board has given an official notice concerning the indication. The notice specifies that manufacturers may indicate red/brown or green dots on beauty care products to indicate their non-vegetarian or vegetarian nature, respectively. This labeling method is applicable for packaging tubes of toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, other cosmetics, and toiletries. The indication, however, would be voluntary for cosmetic manufacturers.

This new indication will allow consumers to gain more information about product ingredients and make an informed decision as per their individual preferences.

To achieve compliance for cosmetics in India, it is necessary to be cognizant of the latest developments taking place in the Indian cosmetic market. Reach out to a regional Regulatory expert like Freyr for Cosmetic Regulatory assistance in India.


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