book a meeting Search Search
brisbane

level 16, 324 queen st,
brisbane qld 4000
+61 7 3235 0400

dandenong

40-42 scott st,
dandenong vic 3175
+61 3 9794 2600

melbourne

level 7, 600 bourke st,
melbourne vic 3000
+61 3 8615 9900

sydney

level 21, 20 bond st,
sydney nsw 2000
+61 2 8298 9533

hello. we’re glad you’re
getting in touch.

Fill in form below, or simply call us on 1800 888 966

New year, new risk! ACCC’s product safety and consumer protection priorities for 2018

21 March 2018
jason han
Read Time 5 mins reading time

The ACCC recently released its new product safety and consumer protection priorities for 2018. The Commission has outlined how it will prioritise and manage product safety risks, and identified 9 key areas of focus.

How will the ACCC prioritise and manage product safety risks?

Product safety risk will be prioritised:

  • where there is a high risk to public safety due to the potential number or severity of injuries;
  • if users are unable to perceive or safeguard against the risk of the product;
  • if the product is targeted at vulnerable users (e.g. children);
  • if users of the product could potentially expose other people to the risk of death or injury;
  • if the product is subject to a safety standard, compulsory recall, ban or safety warning under the ACL; or
  • if ACCC action is likely to have a broader public benefit (e.g. where action is likely to have a broader educative or deterrent effect or the source of harm is likely to become widespread if the ACCC does not intervene).

Product safety risks of widespread community concern will also be prioritised. For such matters, the ACCC will conduct an initial inquiry to determine whether the product meets the priority factors and assess the likelihood and severity of injury.

What are the 9 key areas of focus?

In 2018, the ACCC will primarily be targeting the following 9 critical safety issues:

  1. the compulsory recall of vehicles with Takata airbags;
  2. improving the safety of quad bikes;
  3. developing strategies to support the voluntary recall of Infinity electrical cable and transitioning oversight to New South Wales Fair Trading;
  4. preventing children from swallowing button batteries from toys and other household products;
  5. reducing deaths and injuries of children from unsafe baby walkers and unstable furniture and television (toppling furniture);
  6. ensuring better product safety outcomes for consumers in the online marketplace;
  7. continuing to review and update current safety standards and bans;
  8. conducting surveillance to ensure businesses are not selling products that are banned or fail to meet safety standards – with a focus on:
  • products with interconnected devices (the internet of things) and that are covered by safety standards;
  • toys;
  • bunk beds;
  • prams and strollers;
  • decorative burners fuelled by alcohol (ethanol burners);
  • corded internal window coverings e.g. blinds;
  • reducing the fire risk of cigarettes; and
  1. progressing reforms to the product safety provisions in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Where to next?

If your product falls within the scope of the 9 areas of focus, you are likely to be subject to ACCC scrutiny. The ACCC may implement measures ranging from enforcement of the ACL to issuing product recalls.

Even where your product falls outside the 9 areas of focus, meeting any of the priority factors could put you in the spotlight for investigation by the ACCC. Taking proactive steps to review your safety standards and compliance with provisions under the ACL is highly encouraged, particularly for businesses dealing with potentially dangerous and/or widely available products.

Macpherson Kelley has extensive experience dealing with the ACCC and its product safety and consumer protection priorities. We regularly assist with devising and implementing product recall strategies and liaising with the ACCC.  We are happy to help with any queries you may have in respect to the new priorities, your obligations under the ACL and implications for you. For further information, please contact us.

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

stay up to date with our news & insights

New year, new risk! ACCC’s product safety and consumer protection priorities for 2018

21 March 2018
jason han

The ACCC recently released its new product safety and consumer protection priorities for 2018. The Commission has outlined how it will prioritise and manage product safety risks, and identified 9 key areas of focus.

How will the ACCC prioritise and manage product safety risks?

Product safety risk will be prioritised:

  • where there is a high risk to public safety due to the potential number or severity of injuries;
  • if users are unable to perceive or safeguard against the risk of the product;
  • if the product is targeted at vulnerable users (e.g. children);
  • if users of the product could potentially expose other people to the risk of death or injury;
  • if the product is subject to a safety standard, compulsory recall, ban or safety warning under the ACL; or
  • if ACCC action is likely to have a broader public benefit (e.g. where action is likely to have a broader educative or deterrent effect or the source of harm is likely to become widespread if the ACCC does not intervene).

Product safety risks of widespread community concern will also be prioritised. For such matters, the ACCC will conduct an initial inquiry to determine whether the product meets the priority factors and assess the likelihood and severity of injury.

What are the 9 key areas of focus?

In 2018, the ACCC will primarily be targeting the following 9 critical safety issues:

  1. the compulsory recall of vehicles with Takata airbags;
  2. improving the safety of quad bikes;
  3. developing strategies to support the voluntary recall of Infinity electrical cable and transitioning oversight to New South Wales Fair Trading;
  4. preventing children from swallowing button batteries from toys and other household products;
  5. reducing deaths and injuries of children from unsafe baby walkers and unstable furniture and television (toppling furniture);
  6. ensuring better product safety outcomes for consumers in the online marketplace;
  7. continuing to review and update current safety standards and bans;
  8. conducting surveillance to ensure businesses are not selling products that are banned or fail to meet safety standards – with a focus on:
  • products with interconnected devices (the internet of things) and that are covered by safety standards;
  • toys;
  • bunk beds;
  • prams and strollers;
  • decorative burners fuelled by alcohol (ethanol burners);
  • corded internal window coverings e.g. blinds;
  • reducing the fire risk of cigarettes; and
  1. progressing reforms to the product safety provisions in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Where to next?

If your product falls within the scope of the 9 areas of focus, you are likely to be subject to ACCC scrutiny. The ACCC may implement measures ranging from enforcement of the ACL to issuing product recalls.

Even where your product falls outside the 9 areas of focus, meeting any of the priority factors could put you in the spotlight for investigation by the ACCC. Taking proactive steps to review your safety standards and compliance with provisions under the ACL is highly encouraged, particularly for businesses dealing with potentially dangerous and/or widely available products.

Macpherson Kelley has extensive experience dealing with the ACCC and its product safety and consumer protection priorities. We regularly assist with devising and implementing product recall strategies and liaising with the ACCC.  We are happy to help with any queries you may have in respect to the new priorities, your obligations under the ACL and implications for you. For further information, please contact us.

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