On September 23, 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs released a positioning paper regarding the regulatory definition of body-use mosquito repellents, which were increasingly circulated on the market in different forms such as repelling patches, lotion, liquid, and wristbands containing botanical ingredients.
According to the definition under “Regulation on the Administration of Pesticides”, pesticides include not only plant protection products for agricultural purposes, but also vector control products targeting mosquitoes, flies, rodents, and cockroaches, etc.
MoARA emphasized a pesticide shall be identified through its purpose, use site and protected targets, regardless of whether the active ingredient was chemosynthetic or plant-derived, products with a mosquito-repelling claim shall be legally identified and treated as pesticides and are required to register with MoARA before placing in the Chinese market.
Currently, these products are widely used among common consumers along with China’s economic development, but they are often confused with daily-use products and labeled with misleading publicity such as“natural ingredients”, “safety and eco-friendly” or “imported products”.
This clarification offers law enforcers a solid basis to fill the loophole as a very large proportion of these hot sale products sold online have not yet obtained the pre-marketing registration as conventional health-use insecticides such as aerosol, mosquito coil, and vaporizing mat/liquid that went through comprehensive and standardized tests and resident risk assessment.
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