Tertiary education program

Safety standards

The Commonwealth minister can impose a mandatory safety standard for consumer goods or product-related services. A safety standard sets out the requirements reasonably necessary to prevent or reduce the risk of particular goods or services causing injury. These requirements can relate to matters such as design, performance, contents, necessary testing, instructions or safety warnings.

Mandatory safety standards apply to such goods as curtain and blind cords, baby products, children's clothing, motor vehicles and accessories, cosmetics, toys and furniture. It is an offence to supply consumer goods or product-related services that do not comply with mandatory safety standards.

How to comply

It is a supplier's responsibility to ensure consumer goods comply with relevant mandatory safety standards. When a safety standard applies, a supplier must not:

  • supply goods or services that do not comply
  • offer to supply the goods or services that do not comply
  • manufacture, possess or control goods that do not comply.

Case study

A retailer was held liable because it supplied dressing gowns for children that did not comply with a prescribed safety standard which required a low fire hazard warning label to be stitched to part of the gowns.

See: ACCC v Dimmeys Stores Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 372