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Hong Kong's Cosmetics and Toiletries Industry

*  The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) was concluded in June 2003, and further liberalisation was agreed in August 2004 under the second phase of CEPA (CEPA II). Certain cosmetics and toiletries products made in Hong Kong, subject to the CEPA's rules of origin, enjoy duty-free access to the Chinese mainland beginning 1 January 2004 and more will be added to the list beginning 1 January 2005.

*   Hong Kong has a small cosmetics and toiletries manufacturing sector and most manufacturers are producing lower-priced toiletries and perfumes with their own brands. Most of the companies in the industry are traders who act as agents of foreign brands to sell in the region, particularly the Chinese mainland.

*   International brands such as Lancome, Guerlain, Christian Dior, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Clinique, Shisheido, Revlon and Max Factor play a dominant role in the upper-end market of Hong Kong and the region. Local producers of cosmetics and toiletries are forced to put their focus on the middle- to low-price market segments.

*   Facial whitening products are getting increasingly popular, especially among Asian consumers. Apart from facial whitening, tooth whitening is also a hot trend, with bleaching and stain removing press-on strips, gels, and toothpastes available at virtually every drugstore.