An updated mandatory safety standard for projectile toys has been issued today, designed to protect children from serious eye injuries or choking from toys like bow and arrow sets and toy guns.

Suppliers are now able to choose to comply with either the latest Australian voluntary standard or listed overseas standards, which is estimated to save Australian businesses approximately $6.75 million per annum through greater access to global markets and reduced compliance costs.

In 2002, a six-year-old boy died after a rubber projectile from a toy gun lodged in his throat, blocking his airway.

“The updated consumer standard improves on existing consumer protections and is a timely reminder that parents and carers should only purchase safe, approved products that meet the requirements of the mandatory standard,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Key requirements of the mandatory standard are:

  • Minimum size measurements of a projectile to avoid choking
  • Clear warnings so that projectiles are not aimed at the eyes or face, and
  • The toy’s discharge mechanism must be designed so that it cannot launch an improvised projectile in a hazardous manner

“Under the Australian Consumer Law all suppliers must comply with the mandatory standard to protect children from injury or risk fines and penalties,” Ms Rickard said.

Transition period

The new standard provides a transitional period of 12 months beginning on the day it commences. During the transitional period, suppliers must meet the requirements of either:

  • Consumer Goods (Projectile Toys) Safety Standard 2020, or
  • Consumer Protection Notice No. 16 of 2010 (Consumer Product Safety Standard for Children’s Projectile Toys).

After the transitional period, suppliers must meet the requirements of the Consumer Goods (Projectile Toys) Safety Standard 2020.

More information about mandatory standards is available on the Product Safety Australia website.