Costume drama! Flammable fancy dress lands business with £10k fine

9 August 2019

A fancy dress business has been asked to pay almost £10,000 in fines and charges after its owner pleaded guilty to possessing and selling unsafe and counterfeit children's costumes. The prosecution comes following enforcement action by Brent Council.

Batman, Spiderman, Superman and Zorro were among the rip-off character costumes Euro Accessories (UK) Limited and its owner Mr Farid Ayubi sold for just £9.99. Flammability and strangulation tests found the costumes did not meet the legal safety levels required and posed a serious danger to kids.

All children's costumes are classed as toys and must meet strict safety standards in order to be sold.

The business and Mr Ayubi were sentenced at Willesden Magistrates Court on the 4 July 2019 after the Council's Trading Standards officers seized over 200 costumes from the business. Euro Accessories (UK) Limited of Acton Lane, NW10 was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £3,666 in costs. Mr Ayubi was also personally fined £500.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said: "Over the past few years, we've seen stories of kids suffering horrendous burns because their fancy dress fail to meet basic standards. Cheap imported costumes might look like a bargain from the price tag, but what they don't list are the serious dangers that come with buying untested counterfeits.

"If the safety of children isn't motivation enough, I hope that this hefty fine at least sets an example to other organisations considering selling fake and unsafe goods. We want Brent to be a place where businesses thrive, but, be in no doubt, we will take action against traders who try and cut corners selling substandard goods to enhance their profits."

The case came to light after Trading Standards officers received a complaint that the products were counterfeit. If you believe a business is selling counterfeit or unsafe goods, report it to Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06. They will pass information to the Council for investigation.

Keep your child safe! When buying fancy dress costumes:

  • Only buy from reputable retailers
  • Check that the costume for a CE mark. This is a manufacturer's declaration that the product complies with essential safety requirements
  • Make sure there is a label or that its packaging contains the manufacturer/importer's name and UK/European address
  • Check there are no drawstrings or functional cords in the head, neck or upper chest area of the costume. This includes elasticated cords on face masks which wrap around the head area
  • Make sure that any capes which form part of the costume are attached by means of an easy release mechanism such as Velcro
  • Check that the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information