China has announced that post-market cosmetic testing in the country will no longer include animal tests.

The announcement — made by the Gansu Province National Medical Products Association — ends cosmetic animal testing for all finished imported and domestically-produced products. International animal welfare organization Cruelty Free International (CFI) applauds the news as an “important step” toward ending animal testing around the world.

In the past, China has been known for testing international and domestic products on animals after they have come to market.

“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,” said Michelle Thew, the chief executive of CFI, in a statement.

She added that although this doesn’t mean that cosmetic companies can import to China straight away and be declared cruelty-free, the organization is “delighted” at the country’s progress.

“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 continued.

China has been taking steps away from cosmetic animal testing for some time. In October 2018, the National Institute for Food and Drug Control announced it was looking into “viable alternatives” to cosmetic animal testing, noting that development and research into cruelty-free methods was a top priority for the organization.

A cruelty-free cosmetic future is looking ever more plausible as more and more countries take steps to ban the practice. Earlier this year, Australia passed a bill effectively outlawing cosmetic animal testing completely.

According to the new law, Australia will no longer deem results from animal tests as evidence of the safety of a product. It means that all cosmetic brands in the country are required to show the effectiveness and safety of their products without the use of animals.

The move was praised by animal welfare group the Humane Society International. Hannah Stuart, a campaign manager for the organization, said, “[T]his ban reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics cruelty, and the will of the Australian public which opposes using animals in the development of cosmetics.”