When a safety problem in a consumer product is identified, suppliers or government regulators may determine that the product needs to be recalled. Once a recall notice is in force, it is an offence to sell the relevant products.
A supplier may initiate a recall of consumer products if it believes that the products pose a risk of injury, fail to comply with a safety standard or have been banned.
A supplier who has initiated a recall must, within two days, notify the Commonwealth minister in writing via the Product Safety Australia website that the products have been recalled and provide reasons why it has been recalled. If the products have been supplied outside of Australia, the supplier must also notify its overseas customers that products have been recalled.
A Commonwealth, State or Territory minister can issue a compulsory recall notice for consumer products that could cause injury.
If the minister recalls products, businesses that have supplied the products overseas must, as soon as practicable, give written notice of the recall to the recipients.
Failure to comply with a recall notice can lead to a penalty of up to the greater of $10 million, three times the value of the benefit received, or where the benefit cannot be calculated, 10 per cent of annual turnover in the preceding 12 months for corporations, or $500 000 for individuals.
More information about Australian product safety recalls and the form to submit a recall are available on the Product Safety Australia website.