The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Ozsale Pty Limited (which also trades as BuyInvite) for allegedly selling children’s nightwear between July 2014 and October 2015 which did not comply with the mandatory Australian safety standard. The ACCC also alleges that Ozsale made a false or misleading representation about the fire risk of one garment.
Ozsale is an online members-only shopping club that sources its stock by purchasing excess inventory from suppliers, predominantly overseas suppliers.
The ACCC alleges that five children’s nightwear garments offered for sale by Ozsale were non-compliant with the applicable mandatory Australian standard. Children’s nightwear that does not comply with the mandatory Australian standard increases the risk of fire hazards.
The alleged defects ranged from having fire hazard warning labels that did not comply with the standard, to having no fire hazard warning labels at all. Fire hazard labels are intended to serve as a constant reminder to parents and care-givers of the potential fire risk associated with children’s nightwear.
In addition, the ACCC alleges that one garment’s composition and design was non-compliant with the mandatory Australian standard as it had a trim or attachment of excessive length, and the cotton material it was composed of was too dense. Lengthy trims or attachments increase the risk of a garment coming in contact with a heat source, even when parents or care-givers may think a child is an adequate distance away from the heat source. For garments made of certain materials such as cotton, the denser the material, the quicker it will burn.
The ACCC also alleges that Ozsale offered a garment for sale without the required high fire danger labelling and in doing so represented that the garment presented a low fire danger, or no fire danger, when this was not the case.
“Australian consumers are entitled to expect that children’s nightwear purchased in Australia is safe, fit-for-purpose and compliant with the mandatory Australian standard,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“This requirement extends to all children’s nightwear, irrespective of the retailer’s business model.”
“Businesses such as Ozsale which purchase goods not originally intended for sale in Australian markets from overseas suppliers must have adequate procedures in place to ensure that those goods comply with applicable mandatory Australian standards before they are offered for sale to Australian consumers,” Ms Rickard said.
The garments subject to these allegations have been recalled by Ozsale. Consumers can obtain further information on these products from the Recalls Australia Website. If consumers still have any of these garments, they should immediately contact Ozsale to return the garment and obtain a full refund.
The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, declarations, injunctions, costs and an order that Ozsale implement a product safety compliance program.
The matter is listed for a case management hearing in Sydney on 3 February 2016 before Justice Robertson.
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