The association has stated post-market testing for finished imported and domestically produced cosmetics in the country will no longer include animal tests.
However, the announcement should not be misconceived as a total ban on animal testing, as pre-market testing requirements are yet to be clarified for imported cosmetics.
Regulatory expert, Mette Knudsen, said: "It remains important that cruelty-free companies participated in our pilot project with Cruelty Free International to ensure that no animal testing is conducted during the National Medical Products Association product filing process."
'An enormous step in the right direction'
Whilst Michelle Thew, Cruelty Free International Chief Executive, commented: "This assurance by the Chinese authorities that post-market animal testing is now not normal practice is an enormous step in the right direction and most welcome.
"At this stage, this does not automatically mean that brands can import to China overnight and be cruelty-free, but we are delighted that through co-operation and partnership our aim to end cosmetics animal testing everywhere and forever is coming closer."
Benefiting thousands of animals
Cruelty Free International says it has been working hard to encourage change in China, helping the country move away from cosmetics animal testing and towards a harmonized global cruelty-free market.
"We hope that this will pave the way to actual legislative change that will benefit cruelty-free companies and the Chinese consumer as well as many thousands of animals," Thew added.