Cosmetics Regulatory Support in South Korea


South Korea is known for its innovation in the cosmetic industry. The steady demand for cosmetic products in the face of global economic fluctuations reflects the strength of the South Korean market. However, finding a breakthrough in the South Korean cosmetic market and fulfilling the Regulatory requirements of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) can be challenging.

Cosmetics Classification

The MFDS South Korea classifies beauty cosmetic products into two categories:

  • General Cosmetics: The term “General cosmetics” means cosmetics without any functional claim.
    • Skincare
    • Haircare
    • Makeup
    • Perfume
  • Functional Cosmetics

The term “functional cosmetic” means any of the following cosmetics with specific functional claims on the label.

  • A cosmetic aiding in the whitening of the skin
  • A cosmetic aiding in improving wrinkles in the skin
  • A cosmetic aiding in tanning skin gently or protecting skin from ultraviolet rays (SPF)
  • A cosmetic aiding in changing or removing the color of hair, or nourishing ha€
  • A cosmetic aiding in preventing or improving dryness, splits, loss, cornification, etc., resulting from weakened functions of skin or hair

Registration of cosmetic products in South Korea

In South Korea, there is no specific registration procedure under the MFDS. Anyone who wants to register their cosmetics in South Korea should proceed with the import customs procedure through KPTA/MFDS. So, we do importation and customs clearance for a small amount of finished product as per the client’s demand. Regarding functional cosmetics, pre-reviews, and reporting work to MFDS are required before the import customs procedure.

Important Validities

Regarding importation customs clearance, there is no specific timeline from KPTA/MFDS.

Typically, it will be completed within fifteen (15) days, or depending on the situation, within thirty (30) days.

Freyr Expertise

  • Cosmetic Product Formulation and Ingredient Review
  • Cosmetic Labelling Review
  • Cosmetic Claims Review
  • Cosmetic Safety Assessment and Toxicology Services
  • Product Information File
  • Go-To-Market and Local Representation Services
  • Regulatory Intelligence
  • Region-Specific Services
  • Cosmetic Packaging Artwork Solutions
  • Cosmetic Testing Services

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