Border Force and trading standards officers work together to seize counterfeit goods at Stansted Airport
Border Force officers and trading standards experts from Essex County Council have been clamping down on counterfeit goods coming into Stansted Airport.
Their latest haul was 650 pieces of counterfeit Huda make-up. These Italian-made cosmetics can retail on the high street for up to £53, but Chinese fakes can cost unscrupulous importers just 28p each.
Legitimate products have to undergo stringent safety tests to prove they can be safely applied to the skin so intercepting fake cosmetics is a priority.
Trading standards officers also detained a consignment of squishy toys resembling food or animals as part of routine examinations of imported products entering the UK at Stansted. Officers had concerns about the risk they posed to the public, as they broke apart easily and had a chemical smell, raising suspicions that the products could be highly hazardous if put in the mouth or swallowed.
In total, 192 items were removed for destruction, including squishy ice cream cones and squishy bananas.
Officers sampled a consignment of magnetic bracelets being imported through Stansted after online listings for the items were checked and revealed claims to relieve pain from arthritis, rheumatism, tendonitis and tennis elbow, among others.
Aside from the illegal medical claims, further chemical analysis revealed an excess of the restricted metal nickel, up to 8%, which is a powerful skin sensitiser, and as such is regulated by the EU.
The magnetic bracelet was sold by a business in China and ordered through Amazon. As a result of cooperation between Essex and Hertfordshire County Council and liaison with Amazon, the product and all other magnetic variants were removed from sale until the safety of new stock can be evidenced.