Drugs and cosmetics are included in the list of substances that require sensitivity. It may also be prohibited for illegal use. This creates a regulatory need that is governed in India by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940.

This article addresses requirements relating to the distribution, manufacturing, and sale of cosmetics according to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. So every cosmetic sold in the Indian market requires cosmetic registration.

Standard Quality of Cosmetics
The term quality here means that cosmetics follow the requirements set in the Second Schedule as prescribed.
The government can amend these quality standards accordingly by making a notification in the Official Gazette after notifying three months of its intention.
The cosmetics that can be classified as unacceptable under these quality standards are:
• Cosmetics that have been misbranded or are spurious
• Cosmetics containing any harmful or injurious ingredients
• A cosmetic whose import is prohibited by law
• Cosmetics containing hexachlorophene or mercury compounds
• Cosmetics in which lead or arsenic compounds have been used for colouring

The terms misbranded and spurious have their own specific definitions.
According to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940. A
misbranded cosmetic is one that contains an unprescribed colour, unprescribed labelling, or making any false claims through the packaging. That’s why the term ‘misbranded’ has been used.

Furthermore, a spurious cosmetic has its own definition that is quite wide. However, it can still be classified under three major points to keep things simple. A spurious cosmetic is one that has:
• Been imported under a name that belongs to another cosmetic
• The manufacture rights/patents are not solely owned by a manufacturer
• A label bearing a false name of a company that does not exist

Hence, as can be inferred from the above definition that a spurious cosmetic has more to do with the labelling and does not fulfil the required cosmetic registration.

Offences and Penalties related to the sale/import/manufacture of Spurious cosmetics in India
The manufacture/sale/import of spurious or misbranded cosmetics will attract serious consequences and will result in legal action against the perpetrator. Let’s take a look at some penalties that can be filed against such activities.
• Import of a spurious cosmetic or cosmetic containing any harmful ingredient will attract an imprisonment for a term of 3 years which may extend to a term of 5 years along with a fine of five thousand rupees.
• The import of a cosmetic whose import is prohibited under section 10-A will attract an imprisonment of 3 years, extendable to 5 years with a fine of five thousand rupees
• The repeated offence of the above two offences will result in an imprisonment of 5 years and a fine of maximum ten thousand rupees
• Sale/manufacture of substandard/misbranded cosmetic will result in an imprisonment of 3 years, extendable to five years and a fine of five thousand rupees.

The manufacture/sale or misbranded or spurious cosmetics is a serious offence that will attract a long jail sentence of three to five years along with monetary fines. The manufacture and sale of cosmetics in India is seriously regulated by the authorities and it is also the responsibility of people involved in the cosmetics business to ensure the movement of legitimate products in the market.

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