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One quarter of imported cosmetics rejected by Finnish customs officials

More than half of the cosmetics checked by Finnish Customs turned out to be non-compliant for reasons of poor or inexistent labelling or for containing banned ingredients. One quarter of cosmetic products are rejected outright before they reach Finnish store shelves.

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Image: Brian Jackson / AOP

Finnish Customs are noting an increase in the number of cosmetics samples that are deemed to be non-compliant or rejected by its labs. So far this year, 35 of the 145 products examined did not meet labelling or ingredient standards, and less serious errors were detected in 30 more.

Package labelling often does not meet EU legislation criteria, as some products' ingredient listings have errors, are misleading or are missing altogether. Several products contain prohibited ingredients, like colorants or preservatives, or have ingredients that are allowed, but should come with a warning that is missing on the item in question.

Customs inspector Anna Järveläinen says that this year's statistics reflect a long-term trend in the cosmetics sector, as many brands aren't aware of the strict EU standards. 

"Figures show that cosmetics are being rejected at a higher rate than any other product. Toys come in second, and childcare paraphernalia is third," she says.

Järveläinen says the range of cosmetics that fail to make the grade is quite diverse; no one product stands out as having a bigger share. Skin creams, shower gels, lip glosses, lipstick, eye shadow and mascara are all represented.

Around half of the cosmetic products controlled by Finnish Customs this year were imported from countries outside the European Union. The most common countries of origin were the US, UK and China.

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