Facebook Campaign enables us to measure response and retarget from campaigns we run on Facebook and Instagram

Illegal cosmetics cost businesses

Published on:

21 September 2016

Share this article:

Four businesses who sold illegal cosmetics containing banned substances, including cancer causing chemicals, have been ordered to fork out more than £30,000 in fines and costs after they were prosecuted by Enfield Council.

Four businesses who sold illegal cosmetics containing banned substances, including cancer causing chemicals, have been ordered to fork out more than £30,000 in fines and costs after they were prosecuted by Enfield Council.

The prosecutions follow a clampdown across Enfield in May last year, named Operation Trawl, which saw Trading Standards officers searching 11 premises in the borough for unsafe cosmetics which did not meet European Union standards.

On the initial visits, shops were told about their legal obligations and instructed to remove non-compliant cosmetics from sale. They were then revisited to check that the products had been removed and, if not, they were seized and destroyed. Traders who did not heed the advice and guidance and continued to stock and sell the products were prosecuted.

A total of 1,164 items were seized, 3,727 goods were suspended from sale and a further 30 products were removed from sale.

One shop, Shaba Hair & Cosmetics (UK) Ltd, was found to be selling Crème of Nature Colors hair dye containing the banned, known carcinogen O-Aminophenol.

A number of shops have since been prosecuted at Tottenham Magistrates' Court and the results were as follows:

  • on 11 September, Kannan Stores Ltd of 251 Fore Street, Edmonton, and its directors, Mr Kanagasabapathy Mannivannan and Mr Kanagasabapathy Mathisoody, each pleaded guilty to five offences of breaches of the Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009 and in total were fined £20,025 and ordered to pay costs of £1,762
  • on 25 August, Afromart Mini Market Ltd, Hertford Road, and its director, Eddie Frimpong, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009 and were fined £2,945 and ordered to pay £250 costs
  • Shaba Hair & Cosmetics (UK) Ltd of South Mall, Edmonton, and its director, Mohammad Imran, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009 and were fined £1,875 and ordered to pay £720 costs
  • Beautyqueens Cosmetics (Wood Green) Ltd of Fore Street, Edmonton, and its director, Mohammed Ziarab, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009 and were fined £2,450 and ordered to pay £600 costs.

Another prosecution is pending.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: "It beggars belief that a trader can be told that a product is potentially hazardous to health, asked to remove it from sale, but then go ahead and attempt to sell it to someone for a quick buck anyway.

"It's totally unethical for traders to make a profit selling dangerous products and I am delighted they have been hammered with big fines by the court.

"Enfield Council will never stop working to protect the public from hazardous goods and the individuals who think they can get away with selling them to unsuspecting members of the public."

The Cosmetic Regulation states that if a cosmetic product is imported into Europe then the importer needs to go through a number of procedures to ensure that the product is allowed to be sold. The importer needs to register the product on the Cosmetics Product Notification Portal and upload documents to show that they have had the product assessed by a qualified scientist and that it is found to be safe and does not contain any ingredients that are banned or restricted to certain levels. They also need to demonstrate that the product has been manufactured in a safe environment.

This process can be costly and as a result some importers do not go through the proper channels and sell products that could contain ingredients that are banned as they are harmful to health. In the US there are only 12 ingredients banned in cosmetics by the FDA whereas 1300 substances are banned in Europe. A lot of ingredients legally allowed in US cosmetics are known to have severe effects on health. Products legitimately sold in Asia and Africa have also been found to contain ingredients that are known carcinogens such as formaldehyde and toxins such as Mercury.