ACCC accepts undertakings for incorrect labelling of cosmetics products

Published: 
23 Dec 2008

Consumers will have full information about a range of imported toothpaste and mouthwash products after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervention.

"The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Mildon Pty Ltd, trading as Challenge International (Aust), after it acknowledged that a number of cosmetics products it supplied did not comply with the mandatory product information standard for cosmetics," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

"Challenge International imports cosmetics from China. It supplies wholesalers and retail outlets throughout Australia.  Between March 2003 and October 2008 Challenge International supplied a number of toothpaste and mouthwash products under the Tri Leaf and Natural Bliss brands which did not comply with the standard. 

"This included not listing fully all ingredients, such as colour additives.

"Under the standard, all cosmetics product ingredients must be listed on the product container, or on the product itself if it is not packed in a container, in descending order by mass or volume.

"Challenge International also acknowledged that by supplying the non-compliant cosmetics products it may also have misled or deceived consumers in breach of the consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

"Challenge International cooperated fully with the ACCC and immediately took steps to withdraw the products from sale." 

Challenge International has agreed that it will:

  • not supply cosmetics products which do not comply with the cosmetics standard or applicable mandatory product safety standards
  • implement procedures designed to ensure compliance with the cosmetics standard and applicable product safety standards
  • prior to supplying toothpaste products, obtain independent verification from an agency accredited with the National Association of Testing Authorities Australia that samples of the products have been tested and found to comply with applicable product safety standards, and
  • establish and implement a trade practices law compliance program that requires trade practices compliance training for relevant staff and a corporate complaints handling system to prevent further similar breaches of the Act.

"Importers, suppliers and retailers of cosmetics must be vigilant to ensure products they sell comply with the cosmetics standard," Mr Samuel said. "Correct labelling of cosmetics allows consumers to identify ingredients which may irritate, or cause an allergic reaction."

Suppliers of goods that fail to comply with an applicable mandatory product information standard could face penalties to a maximum of to $1.1 million for companies and $220,000 for individuals.

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Contact details

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Ms Lin Enright 02 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520

Release # MR 372/08

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission