Christmas decorations can look just like they are on the outside, experts warn
A holiday ornament can look quite festive inside, but the actual decorations are often illegal, a new report has found.
A report by the Institute of Directors (IOD) has found that Christmas decorations, which can range from small to large, can sometimes be imported from outside the EU, without a valid reason, and often with incorrect descriptions of the decorations.
“A large and ornate Christmas tree may be described as having a red, white and blue stem, which is the EU’s legal description of a red stem, but that description is often misleading, or not accurate,” the report says.
“Similarly, a huge tree may have a tree of red and white flowers on the sides, but it has a green crown.
This is a description that is often used in China and is often misappropriated.”
According to the report, the EU has a system for assessing whether an imported ornament is legal.
If a decoration is not legally considered a Christmas ornament, it will be returned.
However, the report finds that if a decoration has a misleading description, it can still be exported and then sold as a Christmas decoration.
The report also found that if the decorations are in fact legal, some European countries are still trying to control the importation of these illegal decorations.
According to a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), “it is extremely difficult for us to trace the origin of any such products, so there is no way to stop people from importing them”.
The spokesperson said the import of Christmas decorations is a matter for the EU and the customs union, but added that they do not “authorise or require” the UK to stop imports of these products.
The spokesperson added that BIS would “continue to work with the British Government to make sure that all EU countries do not export, or import from outside, Christmas decorations”.
“Christmas decorations are one of the most important gifts that individuals and businesses across Europe receive and we are determined to ensure that they are safe, legal and respected,” the spokesperson said.