ACCC warns suppliers of children's make-up

17 December 2003

Thirty-one children's cosmetics products have been withdrawn from sale after recent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission surveys.

"These products were not properly labelled and may pose risks for children who are allergic to particular ingredients", ACCC Deputy Chair, Ms Louise Sylvan, said today.  "Suppliers must correctly label all products or potentially face court action by the ACCC".

The withdrawn products include: Disney Compact; Galt Make-A-Face; Expressions Accessory Set; Face Paints; and a wide range of temporary tattoos.

The mandatory information standard requires all cosmetic products and toiletries, including children's cosmetics, be labelled with a full list of ingredients, either on the product, container or be made available to consumers at the point of sale.

"Children's cosmetics are popular items at Christmas. The surveys were conducted in order to provide a timely warning to parents and to reduce the risk of injury to children by removing non-compliant items from the shelves", Ms Sylvan said.

"Ingredient labels help parents avoid products with ingredients that may cause allergic reactions to their children.

"Surveys for children's cosmetic products such as make-up sets, body crayons, face paints and temporary tattoos were conducted in a range of metropolitan and regional centres.  Suppliers of products that did not meet the cosmetic labelling standard have been contacted by the ACCC and have subsequently withdrawn and relabelled the goods".

The ACCC conducts random surveys of retail outlets throughout Australia to detect banned products or others that don't comply with mandatory product safety or information standards.

This survey followed discussions on the risks of unlabelled children's cosmetics with the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme.

Supplying goods that do not comply with a mandatory information standard is an offence under the Trade Practices Act 1974 and could result in penalties of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220 000 for individuals. Suppliers of non-compliant goods may also be required to recall products and offer refunds to consumers.

The ACCC will be conducting further product surveys in 2004.

Release number: 
MR 272/03
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