Consumer rights groups bemoaned that the lack of a regulatory authority with regard to cosmetics including skin creams and perfumes had resulted in major issues across the country, arising out of complications resulting from their use.
The National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) highlighted that at present neither the Ministry of Health nor the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) were regulating such imports, adding that the CAA looked at solely the date of expiration.
Chairman of the NMCRP, Ranjith Withanage remarked that even though Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake had outlined the need for such during a budget speech of his, nothing had materialized yet.
The use of imported cosmetics, mostly substandard ones, available at both up-market clothing stores such as House of Fashion and at street markets in the Colombo Fort area, are also expensive with creams selling at prices such as Rs 5,000 and the use of them can result in allergies developing, rashes, fungal infections, skin cancers, respiratory diseases such as shortness of breath and asthma and the changing of the skin’s colour, he noted.
“Any cosmetic including beauty products and perfumes can be brought down via hand luggage and freight sans any regulation. This has become a problem to the people. Previously, the process followed for import was the same as when bringing down a medicinal drug/pharmaceutical. A sample would have to be sent down here with details of what it contained, the manufacturing company, where the factory was and all other such information being sought. Now there is nothing of the sort and on some cosmetics there are not even labels,” he mentioned.