International Product Safety Week highlights risks of buying online

19 October 2012

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today advised Australian consumers to avoid potential safety issues by ensuring their online purchases meet mandatory Australian Safety Standards.

During International Product Safety week, 15-19 October 2012, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said it is important for consumers to understand the potential product safety risks when they buy online.

“Mandatory standards and bans apply to some products sold in Australia. Even though products sold here are legally required to meet these requirements, people may be able to purchase products online which don’t meet these standards or have been recalled in another country,” she said.

The ACCC recently negotiated the Australian recall of 205,000 Bumbo baby seats to fit a safety harness after reports of multiple serious injuries to infants who fell from the seat. The ACCC became aware of this safety concern after Bumbo baby seats were recalled in the United States.

“The ACCC’s Product Safety website, can help consumers make a safe online purchase by giving them the information they need to determine if their purchase meets Australian standards,” Ms Rickard said.

Consumers can now check recalls internationally following the launch of a global recalls portal, GlobalRecalls. This portal is an initiative of an OECD working party.

“This portal has been designed to help consumers, business and government to keep up to date with product recalls in different countries. Australia, the United States, Canada and the European Union are current contributors to GlobalRecalls but we are encouraging as many countries as possible to join,” Ms Rickard said.

Hosted by the OECD, GlobalRecalls pulls together information on dangerous (non-food) consumer products identified by authorities from jurisdictions participating in the project.

Visit the GlobalRecalls website at http://globalrecalls.oecd.org/.

For further information about product safety recalls in Australia visit www.recalls.gov.au or download the free Recalls Australia app, which is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

For more information about product safety, visit www.productsafety.gov.au or call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ProductSafetyAU.

You can also find product safety information via the ACCC's Product Safety Facebook Page and YouTube channel ACCC Product Safety.

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