On September 1st, California lawmakers unanimously approved Senate Bill 1249 known as the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which will essentially ban animal testing on finished product and cosmetic ingredients, conducted after January 1, 2020, subject to the limited exceptions discussed below. The Bill, which defines animal testing as the internal or external application of cosmetic, either in its final form or any ingredient thereof, to the skin, eyes, or other body part of a live non-human vertebrate, has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. It is expected that Governor Brown will sign the Bill into law.The California Bill renders illegal and bans the sale, offering for sale, or importing for profit in the State of California cosmetic products where the product or any of its ingredients were tested on animals after January 1, 2020. Subject to the limited exceptions listed below, the ban applies regardless of where or why the animal test was conducted. The Bill establishes fines of $5,000 per violation and $1,000 per day for each day the violation continues, though it is not clear how the calculations of the fines will be applied. The Bill does provide a 180-day sell-off period for product in violation of the ban. Exactly how and when this will be applied is also not completely clear.
Compliance with this Bill may have the effect of raising product costs and may also encourage other states to enable somewhat similar laws but with different final requirements leading to difficulties in complying with all state laws. Consequently, the California bill has the potential to make product improvements have a more difficult regulatory pathway.
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