ACCC calls time out on unsafe basketball rings

13 November 2006

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has uncovered widespread non-compliance with the mandatory safety standard* for basketball backboards and rings.

"Recent surveys of basketball rings and backboards showed that many suppliers and retailers were failing to comply with the new Consumer Product Safety Standard", ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel said today. "The standard has been in place for 12 months, but the level of non-compliance is alarming".

All basketball rings and backboards must have a safety warning that 'improper installation or swinging on the ring may cause serious injury or death'.

"The survey showed that a number of rings and backboards offered for sale in sports and department stores throughout Australia failed to meet the safety warning requirements. In some instances, the rings and backboards used incorrect colouring on the warning or were too small. In others, the product was not accompanied by any safety warning.

The ACCC has taken the following steps:

  • directed retailers to withdraw the offending basketball rings from sale
  • contacted all suppliers to ensure that no more non-compliant basketball rings were distributed to retailers, and
  • directed suppliers to prepare appropriate warnings which comply with the mandatory standard for the relabelling of stock which was already in retail stores.

"All stores approached by the ACCC quickly removed the unsafe products", Mr Samuel said. "The ACCC has also received the commitment of all suppliers and manufacturers revealed by the survey that appropriate quality assurance processes will be put in place to prevent future non-compliant products being supplied in Australia".

"The findings of this investigation are a warning to suppliers, manufacturers and retailers that they are all equally responsible for ensuring their products comply with the Australian product safety standards.

"On this occasion, some stock was initially compliant when first purchased, but became non-compliant when new standard was introduced. The survey demonstrates that retailers must remain vigilant to ensure that all stock continues to meet the standard.

"Given the poor findings of the survey, the ACCC is currently undertaking a widespread awareness raising campaign in relation to the basketball standard.

"This campaign will include the re-issue of brochures and liaison and education with sporting goods suppliers and retailers and relevant industry associations.

"When it comes to safety, close enough is not good enough - if a product does not meet the requirements of the standard to the letter, the ACCC will take measures to prevent the conduct. In appropriate circumstances, the ACCC will not hesitate to prosecute companies which contravene the safety standards, particularly repeat offenders".

*Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Basketball Rings and Backboards) Regulations 2005.

Release number: 
MR 263/06
ACCC Infocentre: 

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