Watsons fined 150,000 yuan for unauthorized distribution of toiletries
Cosmetic retailer Watsons has been fined over 150,000 yuan (US$20,955) for violating regulations by repacking and distributing toiletries, the Pudong New Area market watchdog said on Monday.
Since January 28, 2021, Shanghai Watsons Commodity Co has been running a "free trial bottle for members" campaign in all its stores in Shanghai, allowing its members to dispense their preferred toiletries into several 10-milliliter unlabeled bottles on the spot.
A total of 96 types of toiletries were involved, including Vidal Sassoon's color protect shampoo and L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Oil Mask, worth 172,353.57 yuan.
According to a new regulation on the cosmetic industry introduced in 2022 in Pudong as a pilot zone, any person or entity which provides packaging and dispensing service on site, or has direct contact with the cosmetics, should organize risk assessment of certain products and, at the same time, apply for permission from the Pudong Market Supervision and Administration Bureau.
Currently, only two companies in the new area have obtained such permits, with trained staff qualified to handle the on-site process.
Watsons was fined 153,706.60 yuan and 353 bottles were confiscated.
The retailer's free-trial campaign has also been suspended, with divisions involved clearing the remaining bottles and products.