x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Cosmetics and personal care products 'should be regulated'

Complaints from customers about consumer products are at the heart of a forum next week on better regulations for consumer goods.

DUBAI // A two-day forum to address the need for standardised regulation of cosmetics and personal care products will be held next week.

The inaugural event was organised because of the issues faced by authorities in the UAE and the Gulf.

"Such products imported and manufactured from different countries have different standards, whether for manufacturing, for testing or even for certification," said Redha Salman, director of Dubai Municipality's Public Health and Safety Department.

Irritation or reactions to cosmetics, the sale of expired items and the unclear labelling of contents are among consumer complaints that have highlighted the need for better regulation of personal-care products.

"Authorities in the region are also implementing slightly different procedures in [the] acceptance of approvals and for regulating such products," said Mr Salman.

The event will take place on Monday and Tuesday at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City hotel.

More than 50,000 categories of cosmetics and personal-care products have been inspected since 2009. Of these, nearly 10,000 were rejected due to customer complaints, labels not clearly indicating all the contents, or inaccurate marketing claims.

Mr Salman said products have been withdrawn in the past for several reasons, including an international recall, a circular from federal and local authorities based on consumer complaints, and because of failure by the companies to register with the municipality.

He would not provide the names of any specific products or companies.

Offences can be punished with fines of between Dh500 and Dh500,000, as well as the confiscation of products and the prevention of sale in the emirate.

Mr Salman, whose department has completed nearly 5,000 inspections over the past two years, said a medical report was needed to prove complaints from consumers about reactions to cosmetics and other products.

Naseem Mohammed Rafee, head of the municipality's consumer products safety section, said she hoped the forum would serve as a better platform to understand the challenges, and to adopt best practices for monitoring and safety.