Childrens swim vest withdrawn after ACCC Pre-Christmas survey

24 December 1999
Incorrect safety labelling of a children's swimming aid vest has led to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission action by having the vest withdrawn from sale.

The Sevylor TG10 Training Swim Vest fails to comply with the labelling requirements of mandatory product safety standard AS 1900-1991 Flotation toys and swimming aids for children and thus, contravenes the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The vest, which was imported and supplied to retailers in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory by Zodiac Group Australia Pty Ltd, is not marked with the proper body mass range and carries an incorrect safety warning. Its packaging also fails to comply with the mandatory product safety standard in this regard, ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.

"Every year, particularly at Christmas, many children and adults are injured as a result of goods that are defective, unsafe or fail to meet prescribed performance or design standards.

"Mandatory product safety and information standards is meant to provide protection for consumers by specifying minimum requirements that must be met before products are sold.

"These products carry warning labels so parents can protect their children from potential hazards of misuse of the product.
"All suppliers, whether at the wholesale or retail level, must ensure that their goods and services meet relevant mandatory product safety and information standards", Professor Allan Fels said.

The non-complying swim vest was detected by ACCC staff conducting a product safety survey as part of the ACCC's on-going mandatory product safety standard monitoring program.

The relevant mandatory safety standard, AS 1900-1991, requires all children's swimming aid vests and their associated packaging to be indelibly marked with the vest's intended body mass range and carry the following warning:

SWIMMING AID VEST WARNING USE ONLY UNDER COMPETENT SUPERVISION NOT FOR USE IN BOATING

Zodiac acknowledges that in supplying the non-complying swim vest, it has contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974.Zodiac has cooperated fully with the ACCC to remedy the matter and has given enforceable undertakings to immediately notify all retailers to whom it has supplied the swim vest to withdraw the Sevylor swim vests from sale. Zodiac has also undertaken to publish product safety notices in major newspapers in those States where the swim vest has been sold, alerting consumers to the swim vest's labelling deficiencies and requesting that consumers return the swim vests to the retailer for a full refund.
Release number: 
MR 260/99
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