News item

National Trading Standards eCrime Team prevent two containers worth of harmful un-labelled cosmetics entering UK marketplace

Thousands of UK consumers, who might have un-wittingly bought harmful poor quality cosmetics, are better off this week thanks to the intervention of the National Trading Standards eCrime Team. 

The Team based in Northallerton and in York, seized and destroyed £1000’s worth of un-labelled cosmetics imported from China and the Far East which were destined for sale throughout the UK. Consumer protection legislation prevents un-labelled cosmetics being sold in the United Kingdom not only because of potential safety issues, but also to allow consumers to avoid ingredients they may be allergic to. 

The two containers worth of goods included make-up palettes, eye shadows, lipsticks, nail glue and eye gel, tweezers and even UV-nail dryers. 

Sophie Davies, a National Trading Standards eCrime Investigator, based in York said: “These goods are not to be sold in the UK due to various pieces of legislation on un-labelled goods being sold within this country. We know some of these goods are unsafe."

Mike Andrews, the national co-ordinator of the eCrime team, said: “As well as seizing and now destroying these goods, a man has been cautioned in connection with these imports. The National Trading Standards eCrime Team will continue to crack down on companies that use the internet to scam consumers. The action we have taken also demonstrates that we won’t allow potentially un-safe and dangerous products to be sold online.  We are pleased that we have been able to prevent tens of thousands of these products from being sold on to unsuspecting consumers.”

Councillor Chris Metcalfe of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “The work done by the eCrime Team will not only prevent some consumers from being injured by these products but will also ensure that they are not put out-of-pocket by buying products that aren’t fit for purpose.”

The National Trading Standards eCrime Team tackles online consumer scams, rip-offs and fraud, as well as those committed by text or email and is hosted by both North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council. It is funded by National Trading Standards and Department for Business Innovation and Skills. 

For more information about this case contact Mike Andrews 01609 534901. For more general enquiries regarding the National Trading Standards Board please call 020 7025 7570 or e-mail 

Notes to editors

National Trading Standards Board

  • The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards. 
  • The National Trading Standards Board provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.

 National Trading Standards eCrime Team

  •  Funded by the National Trading Standards Board, the National Trading Standards eCrime Team recognises that a secure and safe online environment that protects consumers and allows businesses to flourish is vital to the long term success of the UK economy. 
  • The eCrime Team provides a national resource to support all local authority areas in England and Wales, tackling the increasing threat to businesses and consumers in relation to internet scams and rip-offs.  There are separate arrangements in place in Scotland. 

DATE: 11 August 2014