Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has seized 1.7 tonnes of assorted cosmetics items worth Shs300 million, Daily Monitor has learnt.
According to the government agency responsible for, among other things, safeguarding the public against harmful and substandard products, the confiscated items contain substances that are dangerous to the public health.
The cosmetics being currently held by the standards body belongs to Sure Deal Beauty Centre Limited.
A statement issued on Tuesday evening said the cosmetics were confiscated for illegally using the UNBS Quality Mark.
“Some of the seized products include Baby Petroleum Jelly, Baby Oil, Lightening Shinning Cream, Instant Bleach Cream, Lightening Herbal Soap, Lightening Oil, and Stretch Mark Oil, among others,” reads the statement issued by the head of public relations at UNBS, Mr Godwin Bonge Muhwezi.
The statement further reads: “The seized products would have had adverse health effects on more than 10,000 households.”
The cosmetics were seized on Friday February 2, at Sure Deal Beauty Centre office on Senana Building Buganda Road and Namaganda Plaza, Ben Kiwanuka Street.
The UNBS market surveillance team established that various cosmetics manufactured by the company carried the UNBS Quality Mark despite having not been certified by UNBS.
The UNBS team also seized skin lightening cosmetics containing hydroquinone, which various studies have confirmed to have adverse effects on human health such as damage to internal organs such as the liver.
The UNBS legal team and the Criminal Investigations Department of Uganda Police Force have initiated legal proceedings against the company and its directors.
The legal action is based on the directors of the company action of illegally using the UNBS Quality Mark and for selling banned products in contravention of the UNBS Act and the Uganda Standards on specifications for Petroleum Jelly (US191) and general requirements for labelling cosmetics (US 346).
Letters written to the Minister of trade, between June 2016 and August 2017 by the Association of Importers and Distributors of cosmetic products, show that down town Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Iganga and Mbarara are the hubs of the potentially dangerous cosmetics products.