Standards, recalls and bans
The national product safety provisions set out how the Australian and state/territory Governments can regulate consumer goods and product related services to ensure they are safe. These can include:
- imposing mandatory safety standards or information standards on goods or product related services;
- issuing a compulsory recall notice requiring suppliers to recall a product; or
- banning goods or product related services, either on an interim or permanent basis.
The Product Safety Australia website provides detailed information for consumers and businesses about product safety.
Mandatory standards ensure particular safety or information features on consumer products are compulsory for the sale of the product in Australia.
Businesses can not supply a product or product-related service which does not comply with mandatory standards.
Product Safety Australia provides detailed information about:
- mandatory safety standards – design, manufacture, contents, finishing etc;
- mandatory information standards – labelling, instructions of use, etc;
- voluntary standards; and
- list of mandatory standards.
A supplier or government officer may recall a product if it is considered to be unsafe. Detailed information on current and past recalls can be found at the Recalls Australia website .
A ban is made to protect consumers when evidence shows a risk of serious injury, illness or death associated with a product.
A ban prohibits its supply in the Australian market and businesses face penalties if they trade in a banned product within Australia.
There are two main types of bans:
- Interim: can be imposed by any responsible Minister. An interim ban lasts for 60 days and can be extended for up to another 60 days.
- Permanent: may only be imposed by the Commonwealth Minister and are valid for ten years.
A full list of banned products, the Legislation, penalties and consequences are available from Product Safety Australia.