This is what BWC says about how they approve products:
Beauty Without Cruelty humane criteria
1. ASSURANCES: As virtually all substances have been tested on animals at some time, BWC requires companies to initiate a self-imposed cut-off date on the use of animal tested ingredients, as long as it is at least five years before the date of application and the company must guarantee that the chosen date will be strictly adhered to in the future. Failure to comply with the fixed cut-off date will result in immediate removal from the BWC approved product guide.
2. Products may not contain substances, which have been obtained as a result of the suffering or death of an animal. (We will accept vegetarian)
3. Written assurances must be obtained from ingredient supply companies, that individual ingredients supplied to the company, have not been tested (by them) on animals after the cut-off date.
4. Parent companies and their subsidiaries too, must comply with these criteria.
Advertising Standards Authority states that companies must be able to provide proof of their humane claims. BWC is an accepted independent organisation able to audit such proof.
PLEASE don’t ignore the point that if a range is not on the BWC humane guide they are NOT proven to be humane. We cannot emphasise anough that what’s on the bottle means nothing if the company has not been endorsed through independent third party verification, which BWC is, and a recognised authority.
One can not automatically assume that European products are now acceptable as many of the ‘names’ also have facilities outside of the EU where they are and will continue with animal testing. In fact L’Oreal, for example, has made in clear they will continue with animal testing where it is permitted, and now they (along with other names) have also moved to China where animal testing for personal care sold in China is mandatory. (18 April 2013 — L’Oréal said growth in China continues. First-quarter sales rose 5.1%, helped by emerging markets)
Please visit their site for more: http://www.bwcsa.co.za/campaigns