Nearly half of the cosmetic products controlled by Finnish Customs non-compliant – one in four completely rejected

18.10.2017 8.00
Press release

Nearly half of the imported cosmetic products controlled by Finnish Customs are not fully compliant with the cosmetics legislation.By mid-October in 2017, as many as 35 of the 145 cosmetics samples examined by the Customs Laboratory were non-compliant and rejected.Less serious errors were detected in 30 products, i.e. in around 21 per cent of the examined products.

Regarding cosmetics, non-compliance is usually related to ingredients used in the manufacture of cosmetics as well as package labelling. On the labels of cosmetic products, the ingredient details aren’t always provided in the way required by the EU legislation, using so-called INCI names. It is also possible that there is no list of ingredients at all, that there are errors in the names of ingredients or that the ingredients stated on the label don’t match the actual composition of the product. The product may also contain ingredients that are prohibited in the product in question or in cosmetic products in general, such as colorants or preservatives, or the product packaging doesn’t have the additional text, such as a warning statement, related to the use of an individual substance.

According to the legislation, cosmetic packaging must also bear certain other details, such as purpose of use, instructions of use, details of the responsible operator and durability indication. Unlike the list of ingredients, other labelling information must be provided in Finnish and Swedish.

If there are errors or deficiencies in the labelling information, but the composition of the product is otherwise compliant with the regulations, the importer or the company marketing the product in Finland can correct the labelling so that it is compliant with the legislation. Correcting the ingredient information requires that the exact composition details be obtained from the manufacturer, which in some cases has proved problematic.

Around half of the cosmetic products controlled by Customs this year were imported from non-EU countries, and half of the samples were taken from intra-EU imports in operators’ warehouses. The most common countries of origin of the examined products were the United States, China and the United Kingdom.

Press Release