California firm ELF cosmetics has agreed to pay a nearly $1 million fine for importing fake eyelashes containing materials from UN-sanctioned North Korea, the US Treasury Department announced. Between 2012 and 2017, the company imported "156 shipments of false eyelash kits from two suppliers located in the People's Republic of China that contained materials sourced by these suppliers" from North Korea, the Treasury said in a statement.
"ELF's compliance program and its supplier audits failed to discover that approximately 80 per cent of the false eyelash kits supplied by two of ELF's China-based suppliers contained materials" from North Korea, it said.
The company faced more than USD 40 million in penalties but the Treasury took into account mitigating circumstances including the small amount involved and the fact that ELF reported the violation of sanctions, which were imposed on Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"This enforcement action highlights the risks for companies that do not conduct full-spectrum supply chain due diligence when sourcing products from overseas, particularly in a region in which (North Korea), as well as other comprehensively sanctioned countries or regions, is known to export goods," the Treasury said.