Seizure of millions of face masks & thousands of hand sanitisers highlights value of trustworthy suppliers
With PPE and cleansing liquids becoming essential commodities, trading standards teams at Heathrow Airport have seized 2.25 million sub-standard face masks and thousands of counterfeit hand sanitisers since the pandemic started.
According to London Trading Standards, over 8 million face masks were inspected at Heathrow Port Authorities, with more than one in four masks (2.25 million) being seized for failing to comply with legal safety standards – the majority having been labelled with false claims or fake safety certificates.
An additional 4.25 million face masks (53 per cent) were required to undergo label amendments before they were subsequently released, whilst a further 1.5 examined face masks had no issues.
Alongside the millions of face masks, 8,000 fake hand sanitisers were also seized by trading standards at Heathrow Airport.
Branded as household names Andrex and Comfort, the London Trading Standards teams highlight that identical packaging and labelling, except for the brand name, and the same batch code on the entire consignment tipped them off.
The same fake sanitiser products were found on sale in Bexley by trading standards officers. A further 4,500 hand sanitisers with false labelling were seized at the airport, according to LTS.
As well as stopping dodgy imports, trading standards reports that it is increasingly concerned about unsafe UK-made hand sanitisers failing to meet safety standards, with a trading standards team in London’s Tower Hamlets discovering a UK-made hand sanitiser containing banned substance Triclosan on sale online.
Ealing Council’s Trading Standards team also recently detained 454,500 face masks described as “anti-virus”, where fake safety certification was supplied, and 60,000 face masks that failed to have the necessary importers details, batch, declaration of conformity or test certificates available to demonstrate compliance.
Stephen Knight, Operations Director of London Trading Standards, said: “There has been a surge is firms attempting to import sub-standard face masks, many with false labelling or faked safety certificates. Trading standards teams are being pragmatic in seeking to let these important goods through, once misleading labelling is removed, and the necessary safety compliance can be shown. However, we will continue to protect consumers from unsafe goods.”
The seizure statistics from London Trading Standards (LTS) come as demand for PPE and hand sanitisers continues to remain high throughout the pandemic, particularly as lockdown easements set in and people attempt to return to some form of normality.
In response, many mobility retailers have focused on procuring and supplying masks and hand sanitisers to meet customer demands, as well as to provide protection to staff; however, unprecedented global demand has made sourcing these product lines difficult.
The extent of products deemed counterfeit and unfit for use seized at Heathrow, however, highlights the importance of purchasing these products from trusted and reputable suppliers.
Recently, established aids to daily living supplier Able2 announced it had sourced a reliable supply chain of hand sanitiser from a UK manufacturer that is available for the trade.
Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “Trading standards and other organisations in the consumer protection sphere have been working around the clock defending the public from fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of their work and the contribution they have made to alleviating further harms during this unprecedented situation.”
Companies can report concerns about fake products or false claims made about products by contacting Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service helpline on 0808 223 1133 or via their online chat servicehttps://thiis.co.uk/seizure-of-millions-of-masks-thousands-of-hand-sanitisers-highlights-value-of-trustworthy-suppliers/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Counterfeit-hand-sanitisers.jpg?fit=900%2C604&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Counterfeit-hand-sanitisers.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Coronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Trade NewsNewsroomRetailer NewsSupplier NewsTrade NewsAble2,Andrew,comfort,counterfeit,face masks,Heathrow Port Authorities,imports,labelling,London Trading Standards,personal protective equipment,PPEWith PPE and cleansing liquids becoming essential commodities, trading standards teams at Heathrow Airport have seized 2.25 million sub-standard face masks and thousands of counterfeit hand sanitisers since the pandemic started.According to London Trading Standards, over 8 million face masks were inspected at Heathrow Port Authorities, with more than...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine