Importing custom lipsticks from China

Table of Contents

Ready to import custom lipsticks and other beauty tools from China? In this article we cover everything e-commerce, live startups and other small businesses must know:

  • What is lipstick?
  • What’s the HS code if I import lipsticks from China?
  • Product Categories
  • Lipstick Customization Options
  • Product Regulations & Labeling Guide
  • Product Tests
  • Documents
  • Unit Price
  • Minimum Order Quantity Requirement
  • Certificate of Free Sale
  • Lipsticks Trade Shows
  • Do you have a plan to import lipsticks from China?

What is lipstick?

  • Lipstick is a cosmetic that applies color, texture, and protection to the lips..
  • The lipstick is specially formulated to add both color and hydration.

What’s the HS code if I import lipstick from China?

As we know, at the international level, the Harmonized System (HS) for classifying goods is a six-digit code system and HS code which is also known as HTS code. All countries classify products in the same way, that is to say, the first six-digit of the HS code for different countries’ goods are the same.

In China, the sales reps probably tell you that the HS code of lipstick is as follows,

  • 3304100091: Packaging labeled content by weight,
  • 3304100092: Packaging labeled content by volume of.

However, the above HS code is only applicable in China, and the HS code in your country is probably slightly different. For example, if you’re from the USA, the HTS code is 33041000

HTS 330410
HTS code for Lipstick.

So, where are you from?

Product Categories

Lip make-up products generally include lipstick, lip oil, lip mud, lip liner, lip gloss, lip balm, etc.

  1. Lipstick applies color, texture and protection to the lips.
  2. Lip Oil boosts hydration and plump skin, repair lips and give lips high gloss finish.
  3. Lip Mud is a cosmetic with a solf mud-like texture that promises a lightweight, matte finish on the lip. Designed to mee the market’s sweet spot between loud, shiny lip gloss and quite, natural lipsticks.
  4. Lip Liner, or lip pencil, is intended to fill in uneven areas on the outer edges of the lips before applying lipstick to give a smoother shape.
  5. Lip Gloss is to make lips into a crystal and glassy look. It helps to make your lips look fuller and eye-catching. It can be transparent or tinted.
  6. Lip Balm is to provide an occlusive layer on the lip surfact to seal moisture in lips and protect them from external exposure. Dry air, cold temperatures, and wind all have a drying effec on skin by drawing moisture away from the body.

Some factories produce only one kind of makeup, while others produce several kinds of makeups.

Lip makeup
Lip make up

There are quality differences between each SKU, most suppliers provide relatively detailed specification sheets, such as:

1. Ingredients:

  • The main ingredients of the lipsticks are usually wax, oil, grease, pigment, and so on.
  • The above raw materials are melted and mixed together, and finally made into sticks for lips.

2. Feature: waterproof, hydrating, long-lasting,

3. Form: solid, liquid

4. Colors

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Sheer
  • Orange
  • Others

5. Net weight: 3.8 g, or others

6. Packing: PP/ABS/AS Empty Container and color box, or tailor-made.

To custom your lipsticks, you first tell the supplier your needs, such as which ingredient can not contain, whether it is waterproof, what color, how to package, etc. Then the supplier will customize your lipstick according to your needs. Sometimes the supplier will give you some similar lipsticks from their showroom, or give you some suggestions.

The differences between different lip makeup products include types, places of application, and distribution channels.

a. Type

  • lipstick
  • lip mud
  • lip oil
  • others

b. Application

  • party
  • performance
  • normal usage
  • other

c. Distribution channel

  • online stores
  • live commerce
  • hypermarket/supermarket
  • specialty store
  • others

Lipsticks Customization Options

When importing lipsticks from China, you can source ODM products or OEM products. Read on to learn more about the differences.

Option A: ODM (Private Label, full outsourcing)

This means that the factory designs several public versions of lipstick samples, from which the importer selects one or more lipsticks, and the factory adds the importer’s logo in the production process.

Most of our customers choose to buy ODM products. This is a quick way to get the product to the local market because the ODM product is a factory-designed public version of the product rather than a custom-made, uniquely designed product.

What if you are one of the following?
  • I have an idea.
  • I have sales channels.
  • I don’t have an R&D team.
  • I want to bring my product to the local market quickly.
  • I want to buy an off-the-shelf product and put my own logo on it to sell it.
  • I may want to make micro-innovations to existing products.
  • I’m a startup and my first trial order is small.

If yes, ODM products will be your priority.

Besides, ODM products allow importers to do some customization, such as color, logo, packaging, etc.

Option B: OEM (Custom Design, part outsourcing)

OEM factories focus on manufacturing, not design.

The factory can produce any product to your design and technical requirements.

What if you are one of the following?
  • I have a team of professional chemist engineers to make the formula of the lipstick, we provide the exact percentage of each ingredient in the formula of the lipstick.
  • I have a team of designers to do the design of the lipstick, the packaging design, etc.
  • My first trial order quantity is many times larger than the minimum order quantity.
  • But I can’t produce it.

If yes, OEM products will be your priority.

Product Regulations & Labeling Guide

Many countries/regions refer to the U.S. regulatory system for lipsticks, so now we are here to introduce you to how lipsticks are regulated in the U.S.

In most cases, FDA regulates lipstick as cosmetic.

This is a cosmetic labeling guide:

FDA maintains the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program, or VCRP, for cosmetic establishments and formulations [21 CFR 710 and 720]. As its name indicates, this program is voluntary. The FD&C Act does not require cosmetic firms to register their establishments or list their product formulations with FDA.

Product Tests

Laboratory testing is the only way to ensure that your products meet the standards. In particular, the heavy metal and microbial content of your product must not exceed the standard.

Product testing costs money and is not mandatory. But the product’s test report can enhance consumer trust in the product.

a. Heavy Metals Test

b. Microorganisms Test

c. You may also need some other tests or certificates

  • MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
  • COA (Certificate Of Authenticity)
  • CPSR (Cosmetic Product Safety Report)

In fact, all suppliers can help you to find a third-party agency, SGS or TUV, to do it, but the supplier will pass on the fee charged by the third-party agency to you or the supplier and you share this fee together.


In addition to labeling and compliance with all mandatory standards, you may need some documentation. For example:

  • Illustrator Artwork file
  • The ingredients in the formulation and the percentage of each ingredient

However, the supplier is not really willing to give you this information because the supplier is concerned that you will take the Illustrator Artwork file and product formulations and find another supplier to produce them.

This would be a big challenge, and it is actually the supplier’s intellectual property, and even if you eventually get them, they may not be accurate.

Unit Price

The price varies from $0.75 to $7.5 per unit.

The price estimate is based on a small order volume of 5,000 pcs.

Minimum order quantity (MOQ) Requirement

Most manufacturers require their purchasers to order a minimum of 5,000 of each item.

Some suppliers may be willing to offer a slightly lower minimum order quantity (1,000), but rarely order less than that.

Certificate of Free Sale (CFS)

Many importers in South American countries require a Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) from foreign manufacturers.

1. Why a certificate of free sale is required for?

  • Used in the customs clearance of the consignee: the customs of the country implementing trade protection require that the export sales certificate and free sales certificate must be issued in order to clear the goods for pickup.
  • Registered for use in the importing country: the importing party to distribute and sell goods products in their own country, for the safety of the product itself, quality and other considerations, require the issuance of the product’s free sale certificate and registration in the local quality, business sector before you can freely sell the goods in the importing country.
  • The quality of the product is qualified, whether the product is legal production and sales of proof: for example, to the trading party and the trading country to prove: the product for quality and safety, the product to meet the relevant standards to implement what the directive, the product is legal production and sales of other
  • Others.

2. How to apply for the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) free sale certificate for export goods?

  1. Free sale certificate form (there is a format to fill in)
  2. Stamped Letter of Guarantee (there is a format to fill in)
  3. Stamped Joint Declaration (there is a format to fill in)
  4. Power of Attorney (there is a format to fill in)
  5. Business License
  6. Production License
  7. Third-party Test Report

3. how long does it take for the CCPIT to issue a CFS?

Your company submitted all information (1-7), it normally takes 3 working days to get the original CFS.

Lipstick Trade Shows

To my knowledge, there are no trade shows dedicated to lipsticks. However, manufacturers in the industry participate in many major cosmetic trade shows in China and the United States:

  1. China Beauty Expo, Shanghai
  2. Beijing Beauty Expo, Beijing
  3. Canton Fair / China Import and Export Fair (Phase 2), Guangzhou
  4. Cosmoprof Asia, Hong Kong
  5. HKTDC Beauty & Wellness Expo, Hong Kong
  6. Cosmoprof North America, Las Vegas
  7. International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference, Las Vegas
  8. The Makeup Show, New York

Do you have a plan to import lipsticks from China?

You may have a little hesitation in importing lipsticks from China because you are worried that cheap products never be good.

Well, Chinese manufacturers produce products lacking in diversity and differentiation, and their target sales groups are the same, which will lead to fierce price competition. This has led to a different quality of products in the market, there are good and bad.

Now manufacturers of lipsticks and other beauty tools are beginning to focus on differentiated product development. Instead of diversifying their products, they tend to focus on one product and then make that product the best or niche it can be.

This niche is also known as a niche market, i.e., a market that is segmented for the company’s strengths. When companies push their products into this niche, they can generate significant profits.

Therefore, you don’t need to have too many worries, and it is profitable for you to import lipsticks from China.

Besides, it might be difficult to go from design sketch, formulation to the finished product. But to simplify the process, I’ve broken it down into seven steps,

  • a. Product Specification Templates
  • b. Samples for Quality Test
  • c. Label Artworks (USA & EU)
  • d. Cutter Guide Packaging
  • e. Order Confirmation
  • f. Lab Test or Third-party Quality Inspection
  • g. Airfreight or Ocean Shipping

We are happy to assist you every step of the way!

Have more questions? Please fill out the right form and send your inquiry today!

Suri Luo
Suri Luo

Hi, I’m Suri Luo, the funder of, I’ve been running a factory in China that makes Lipstick Makeup Products for 8 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to Lipsticks from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

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