Counterfeit cosmetics in Thailand

In Thailand you can find a copy of almost anything. Cosmetics, lotions and perfumes under top name brands which are widely available in shops, malls, and markets across the city – sometimes for prices that seem too good to be true.

These imitated copies are flooding the Thai market on stalls rather than from a shop.  An instant give away is the price and the packaging. The majority of brands that seemed to be copied were Mac, Benefit and Urban Decay. All copies may look legitimate but as consumers we are unaware of the potential hazards of using them.


Last year I wrote an article called ”Toxic beauty” where I discussed conventional cosmetics and personal-care products that potentially contain hidden hazardous chemicals that can harm your health. This made me wonder… If we are concerned about the ingredients in legit products then we most definitely should be aware of the potential risks when purchasing counterfeit cosmetics.

Thailand FDA

In Thailand The Food and Drug Administration of Thailand (FDA Thailand) is the organisation responsible for the safety, quality and efficacy of pharmaceuticals and medical products in Thailand.

”This organization is split into two divisions, the Support Division and the Health Product Control Division. The Bureau of Drug Control (BDC) and the Bureau of Medical Device Control (BMDC)operate under the latter. These are each responsible for the development and review processes of products within their remit. Regulatory policy and enforcement are handled by committees under the FDA.” Available at: [Accessed 03 July 2014].

Do brands and international copyright laws even apply or have influence over here in Thailand?

Copyright laws were first introduced in Thailand about 120 years ago. And their status at the time was crucial in the international arena. Likewise, the Thai government was gradually molding its copyright system to meet international standards.

”Nearly 60% of all counterfeit apparel seized in Europe comes from Thailand” (source: International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition). The Thai government is well aware of the negative image such figures create, and is keen to stamp out the criminal activities creating them. Despite regular raids, many turn a blind eye. The speed at which questionable goods vanish at the appearance of a uniform is commendable. More remarkable, however, is how quickly it’s back to business the very moment authorities shift their focus to more important priorities.


Asian Medical Regulatory Agencies. 2014. Asian Medical Regulatory Agencies. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 July 2014].

FDA Thailand. 2014. FDA Thailand. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 July 2014].

Homepage | International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition. 2014. Homepage | International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 July 2014].

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