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Automotive accessory safety standards are ramped up

27 March 2018
jason han
Read Time 5 mins reading time

The Federal Government has enacted new safety standards concerning portable ramps, recovery straps and support stands for vehicles (collectively, Standards). The enactment came into effect on 1 December 2017, and there is a 2 year transition period.  Despite existing mandatory standards (which still apply until 1 December, 2019),  the new Standards are designed to further reduce the many Australians that are still being injured or killed from to the incorrect use of these automotive maintenance products.

What are the new standards?

The new Standards are, in some material aspects, different to existing standards.  As compliance with a Standard is black and white, existing goods, their design, labelling and testing procedures will not be compliant when the Standards come into force.

There is a two year transition period to reach compliance.  However, given product and packaging production and supply chain lead times, start planning now.

Portable ramps

The Consumer Goods (Portable Ramps for Vehicles) Safety Standard 2017 declares the voluntary Australian Standard for portable ramps for vehicles (AS 2640:2016) to be the mandatory safety standard for all vehicle ramps with a nominated capacity of up to and including 1,500 kilograms.

The existing mandatory safety standard, Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2640:1994 Portable ramps for vehicles, will still apply in the interim.  Suppliers must comply with one of them now, but from 1 December, 2019 only products complying with the new Standard can be sold.

It will be mandatory that all portable ramps of this kind meet design, construction, performance and labelling specifications set out in AS 2640:2016 from 1 December, 2019.

Motor vehicle recovery straps

The Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Safety Standard 2017 requires motor vehicle recovery straps (being straps that are used to connect two vehicles when one is bogged and requires towing) to meet certain labelling and packaging requirements.

Further, it requires that specific instructions accompany the vehicle recovery strap. For example, it is a requirement that vehicle recovery straps come with instructions that passengers both exit the vehicle, and stay as far away from it as possible, when attempting to recover the vehicle.

Compliance with the mandatory provisions of Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Regulations 2010 continue to be accepted until 1 December, 2019.  Suppliers can choose to comply with either standard until that date.

Vehicle support stands

Similarly to the situation of portable ramps, the Consumer Goods (Vehicle Support Stands) Safety Standard 2017 declares the current voluntary Australian Standard for vehicle support stands (AS 2538:2016) to be the new mandatory safety standard for all vehicle support stands with a nominated capacity of 1,500 kilograms or less.

This Australian Standard applies to particular design, construction, safety marking and packaging requirements for vehicle support stands of this kind.

The existing mandatory safety standard, Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2538:2004 Vehicle Support Stands, will still be acceptable in the interim.  Suppliers must comply with one of them now, but from 1 December, 2019 only products complying with the new Standard can be sold.

Consequences for non-compliance

Not complying with the Standards is a serious criminal offence, exposing individuals to civil penalties of $220,000and body corporates to civil penalties of $1.1 million, per contravention.  Therefore it is critical you are both aware of, and compliant with, the Standards before the end of the two year “transitional period” (being 1 December 2019).

Where to next?

Macpherson Kelley is highly experienced in dealing with the Australian safety standards, particularly for businesses in the automotive industry. If the Standards are applicable to the products you sell and would like further advice or assistance, please contact us.

This article was co-written by Jason Han, Lawyer – Litigation and Dispute Resolution. 

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Automotive accessory safety standards are ramped up

27 March 2018
jason han

The Federal Government has enacted new safety standards concerning portable ramps, recovery straps and support stands for vehicles (collectively, Standards). The enactment came into effect on 1 December 2017, and there is a 2 year transition period.  Despite existing mandatory standards (which still apply until 1 December, 2019),  the new Standards are designed to further reduce the many Australians that are still being injured or killed from to the incorrect use of these automotive maintenance products.

What are the new standards?

The new Standards are, in some material aspects, different to existing standards.  As compliance with a Standard is black and white, existing goods, their design, labelling and testing procedures will not be compliant when the Standards come into force.

There is a two year transition period to reach compliance.  However, given product and packaging production and supply chain lead times, start planning now.

Portable ramps

The Consumer Goods (Portable Ramps for Vehicles) Safety Standard 2017 declares the voluntary Australian Standard for portable ramps for vehicles (AS 2640:2016) to be the mandatory safety standard for all vehicle ramps with a nominated capacity of up to and including 1,500 kilograms.

The existing mandatory safety standard, Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2640:1994 Portable ramps for vehicles, will still apply in the interim.  Suppliers must comply with one of them now, but from 1 December, 2019 only products complying with the new Standard can be sold.

It will be mandatory that all portable ramps of this kind meet design, construction, performance and labelling specifications set out in AS 2640:2016 from 1 December, 2019.

Motor vehicle recovery straps

The Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Safety Standard 2017 requires motor vehicle recovery straps (being straps that are used to connect two vehicles when one is bogged and requires towing) to meet certain labelling and packaging requirements.

Further, it requires that specific instructions accompany the vehicle recovery strap. For example, it is a requirement that vehicle recovery straps come with instructions that passengers both exit the vehicle, and stay as far away from it as possible, when attempting to recover the vehicle.

Compliance with the mandatory provisions of Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Regulations 2010 continue to be accepted until 1 December, 2019.  Suppliers can choose to comply with either standard until that date.

Vehicle support stands

Similarly to the situation of portable ramps, the Consumer Goods (Vehicle Support Stands) Safety Standard 2017 declares the current voluntary Australian Standard for vehicle support stands (AS 2538:2016) to be the new mandatory safety standard for all vehicle support stands with a nominated capacity of 1,500 kilograms or less.

This Australian Standard applies to particular design, construction, safety marking and packaging requirements for vehicle support stands of this kind.

The existing mandatory safety standard, Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2538:2004 Vehicle Support Stands, will still be acceptable in the interim.  Suppliers must comply with one of them now, but from 1 December, 2019 only products complying with the new Standard can be sold.

Consequences for non-compliance

Not complying with the Standards is a serious criminal offence, exposing individuals to civil penalties of $220,000and body corporates to civil penalties of $1.1 million, per contravention.  Therefore it is critical you are both aware of, and compliant with, the Standards before the end of the two year “transitional period” (being 1 December 2019).

Where to next?

Macpherson Kelley is highly experienced in dealing with the Australian safety standards, particularly for businesses in the automotive industry. If the Standards are applicable to the products you sell and would like further advice or assistance, please contact us.

This article was co-written by Jason Han, Lawyer – Litigation and Dispute Resolution.