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CraftyGal
18-04-2009, 09:42 PM
I was googling on eBay for handmade soap information and came across this forum. All you lovely people seem to know what you're talking about :)

I am setting up my own business selling handmade gifts at craft fairs and will also be opening an online store. I am currently looking for a supplier for handmade soaps.

I understand that all soap need to be certified to meet EU regulations but what paperwork do I need to get from a supplier to sell on other people's certified soaps?

Also, if anyone would be interested in possibly becoming my supplier then get in touch too :)

Thanks,
Lisa

Bath-Bomb.Com
19-04-2009, 07:07 AM
Hi,

I've sent you a private message but forgot to add info about certificates and paperwork.

Suppliers/Manufacturers should have Safety Assessments for each product and they should have a Product Information File (PIF) for each batch that they produce. The Certificate should detail the manufacturing process, ingredients and any issues in terms of human healt & safety and will be issued by a qualified person (a chemist who knows his/her stuff) the PIF details the batch numbers of the ingredients, date made etc.

Labels must have the manufacturers contact details on them; Ingredients listed in order of volume and the INCI names for each ingredient (INCI = International Nomenclature for Cosmetics Ingredients); It must list any allergens present and a use by or best before date or an 'open pot' symbol if the product is likely to degrade quickly after opening.

It's not usual (or required) for manufacturers to send copies of their Certificates unless there is a problem with the products - this is because it details ingredients and how the product is made and so could be worth money to others. But for things like soap or bath bombs most have the same recipe and ingredients so ask to see the certificates for those kinds of products and most people will be happy to send you copies.

You shouldn't need to carry all the paperwork with you but if Trading Standards ask for them I think they usually give you or the manufacturer 3 to 5 days to produce them. As a retailer it is your responsibility to make sure that the products you sell comply to the EU legislation...it's not enough to say that your supplier told you they were certified and safe.

Trading Standards in most areas will be able to give you some advice and there is a lot of information on the Internet...

Hope this helps

Jude :)

greannancrafts
19-04-2009, 07:23 AM
Hi,
As a retailer it is your responsibility to make sure that the products you sell comply to the EU legislation...it's not enough to say that your supplier told you they were certified and safe.

Jude :)

This point I would question, not with you Jude but with the system.
Whilst I appreciate that if there is a problem and the manufacturer is not insured, onus could fall on the retailer (I think?).

What happens when someone buys (in good faith) from say a cash and carry or major wholesaler cheap imported products from for example China, be it soap at 5p a bar or any other product?

I see many people selling such soaps, they often make them up into gifts or paint them, wonder how they would stand if a situation were to arise?

Jane

Bath-Bomb.Com
19-04-2009, 08:47 AM
What happens when someone buys (in good faith) from say a cash and carry or major wholesaler cheap imported products from for example China, be it soap at 5p a bar or any other product?

I see many people selling such soaps, they often make them up into gifts or paint them, wonder how they would stand if a situation were to arise?

Jane

I'm not an expert in the legal intricacies but my understanding is this:

If you are importing the products yourself....you are responsible for making sure that the products (even from outside the EU) comply to the regulations of your country...so in your example, if you had bought the products form a wholesalers and they turned out to be harmful then the wholesaler would share liability for having (presumably) imported them without due diligence.

I think how it might work (although I've not studied the case law) is that the customer/Trading Standards/Environmental Health would seek compensation from you (or prosecute you) nder the Consumer Protection Act (as the supplier) and then you would need to seek compensation from your supplier, who in turn might try to seek compensation from the manufacturer and they might try and seek compensation from the supplier of the offending ingredient...lol!

This is an incredibly informative article on the legal issues and what you can do to protect yourself (as a manufacturer)...

http://www.dweckdata.com/Published_papers/Legal.pdf

It's scary and complicated stuff and I'm not sure that many people know it all and some probably know it but just take the risk that it won't happen to them...and, in all honesty it probably doesn't happen very often but I think before anyone goes into selling cosmetics (even 'bought in') they should be aware of what their responsibilities are...

Jude :)

ElaineJ
19-04-2009, 11:56 AM
To put matters into perspective - has anyone met a soletrader/home soaper who has had a case brought against them for skin damage after using one of their cosmetic products?

greannancrafts
19-04-2009, 12:21 PM
To put matters into perspective - has anyone met a soletrader/home soaper who has had a case brought against them for skin damage after using one of their cosmetic products?

I agree with your question in principle Elaine - but there was a case against Dove shower gel a few years back, so the big boys can get it wrong.

Jane

ElaineJ
19-04-2009, 12:27 PM
I agree with your question in principle Elaine - but there was a case against Dove shower gel a few years back, so the big boys can get it wrong.


I hadn't seen that Jane; I was thinking that someone who was "trying it on" would go for one of the Big Names.

The one or two reports re a small name being sued have been related by someone who knows someone who knows someone who...

greannancrafts
19-04-2009, 12:43 PM
I hadn't seen that Jane; I was thinking that someone who was "trying it on" would go for one of the Big Names.

The one or two reports re a small name being sued have been related by someone who knows someone who knows someone who...

Just tried to find Dove case - but alas.

I agree, most of the small names being taken to court are more likely to be by someone who holds a grudge - but that is sadly the same in in all areas of business.

This is why, referring to other threads we all have to have insurance and be as squeaky clean as we possibly can and have tracability.


Jane

Bath-Bomb.Com
19-04-2009, 01:57 PM
I had a terrible scare last year when a customer used a sugar scrub and said it felt like it was burning her skin...I can remember the blind panic of wondering what might happen if she tried to sue me and wondering what had gone wrong that it could do that to her.

She was really lovely about it all and (through a series of emails back and forth) we came to the conclusion that she's probably allergic to Cinnamon (fairly common apparently)...she was quite happy with a refund and I made a note of it in my PIF - but it's never happened since.

It does make you think though, in terms of she'd been to Trading Standards instead of coming to me...

I think you're right though Elaine....even cases against big companies are rare these days...so it does pay to keep it all in perspective...I didn't mean to be alarmist with the info I posted...so sorry if anyone has run screaming for the hills...:)

CraftyGal
19-04-2009, 03:17 PM
Thanks for all the information. I do understand that it my responsibility to check their is evidence that the soap I buy to resell are certified.

Off to check my PMs now.

Thanks again.

Lisa x