The issue relates to illegal imports and products that are smuggled into the country from overseas that contain harmful ingredients that would normally be banned in their country of origin.
A Public Health official of the CDDA told The Nation Newspaper in Sri Lanka of the warning and reiterated that all cosmetics must be registered by the health authority.
“Before registering a cosmetic we look into the country of origin to see if they are freely available without restrictions in those countries. After checking we have found that some are banned even in the countries from where they have originated,” the official said.
The problem arises because the rules and regulations regarding cosmetics products have not been changed in a long time, compromising their strength and relevance.
“The last time there was any amendment to the Cosmetics Devices & Drugs Act No. 27 with regard to cosmetics was in 1983. We are now trying to amend these regulations due to the surge of illegal cosmetics in the country. New regulations are being drafted by our legal draftsman. But it will take time,” the spokesperson told local news.
Undetected and unsanctioned
As it stands, fines in place for offending products range anywhere between 5000 rupees to 50000 ($95 - $945), although are not a deterrent.
“Our concern is that most of these cosmetics are never detected, as they are smuggled in baggage or in handbags,” the health official continued.
“Since they can have adverse reactions on those using them, we warn the public only to buy cosmetics of a known brand, as several counterfeit products are now circulating in the country.”
In 2012 there has only been six cases of illegal cosmetics detected to date.