Tattoo gel packs withdrawn after incorrect labelling

Published: 
10 Nov 2008

Tattoo gel pen packs are being withdrawn by a supplier and a retailer after the packs were found to be incorrectly labelled.

Look Direct International Pty Ltd, which supplies gift products, including cosmetic products, to retail outlets throughout Australia, and a retailer, Australia The Gift, have acknowledged that the Tattoo Gel Pens 6 Pack they supplied breached the mandatory information standard for cosmetics and breached the consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The Tattoo Gel Pens 6 Pack, which was supplied with a plastic container in the shape of the pens holding the six gel pens inserted into a cardboard sleeve, did not have the product's ingredients listed on the plastic container or on the cardboard sleeve.

The cosmetics mandatory information standard requires that the ingredients be listed on the container or on the product itself if the product is not packed in a container. Alternatively, a list of ingredients can be made available to consumers at the point of sale.

The product was detected by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission staff during one of its regular product safety surveys.  When the issue was bought to the attention of Look Direct International and Australia The Gift, both cooperated fully with the ACCC and immediately removed the product from sale.

Look Direct International and Australia The Gift have each given the ACCC court enforceable undertakings that they will:

  • not supply the Tattoo Gel Pens 6 Pack unless it has the ingredients listed on the packaging
  • audit their product range to identify any products that do not comply with the cosmetics standard and, if any products are found, ensure they are immediately withdrawn from sale
  • cause an information notice to be displayed at the main service counter advising consumers that the product did not comply with the mandatory information standard for cosmetics and offering consumers a full refund on return of the product, and
  • develop and implement a trade practices law compliance program.  This will include trade practices law compliance training for relevant staff and a corporate complaints handling system to ensure similar potential breaches of the Act do not occur in the future.

"Cosmetic importers, suppliers and retailers must ensure products they sell comply with the cosmetics information standard or they risk breaching the Trade Practices Act," ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, said today. "Correct labelling of cosmetics lets consumers identify those products with ingredients which may irritate, or cause an allergic reaction.

"The ACCC will continue to monitor labelling of all products for which a mandatory information standard applies to ensure compliance," he said.

Suppliers of goods that fail to comply with the relevant mandatory product information standard could face penalties of up to $1.1 million for companies and $220,000 for individuals.

Contact details

For media inquiries to the ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, please call Mr Brent Rebecca, ACCC Media, on (02) 6243 1317.

Release # MR 313/08

General inquiries

Infocentre: 1300 302 502

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission