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Standard fact sheet.

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Selling safe products 

Information for business 

Consumers have the right to expect that goods they buy are safe. As a business, all goods you supply or sell must be free from defects that could harm consumers.

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) requires safety standards to be met before certain goods are sold. These standards can include:

  • the way the good is made
  • what it contains
  • how it works
  • what tests it needs to pass, or
  • whether any warnings or instructions need to accompany the good.

Selling products that breach safety standards or which have been temporarily or permanently banned is illegal. Individual suppliers who breach the ACL can be fined up to $220,000. Corporations can be fined up to $1.1 million.

Businesses should not assume that imported products have been checked for compliance with Australian's product safety laws, even if they have been cleared by Customs.

For more details visit www.productsafety.gov.au and download the Product safety guide for business.

Check before you supply 

Don’t risk supplying or selling unsafe products and product-related services. Do your research and ask:

Are there any bans, mandatory safety standards or information standards for the products I am supplying or selling?
For a list of products that are banned and regulated by law, download the ‘Mandatory standards and bans’ fact sheet from www.productsafety.gov.au

Have I checked the national recalls website?
For all current product recalls and information visit www.recalls.gov.au. You can also subscribe to receive alerts for the goods you sell.

Have I contacted the peak industry body or association?
These organisations may provide useful product safety information for your industry. Find your industry association by searching the Directory of government and business associations at www.business.gov.au

Should my business consider liability insurance?
Liability insurance provides cover against claims where the goods you have sold or supplied have caused injury, death or damage. Find out more by visiting the Liability insurance page at www.business.gov.au

Are my business records accurate and can I identify individual products in my invoices? 
Your invoices may help provide details of the supplier if a product you have sold does not comply with a mandatory standard or ban.

Have I got a copy of a current approval certificate for the gas appliance or declared electrical article from my supplier?
The approval certificate is important because it shows the product meets the current mandatory standard and is approved for sale.  

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Mandatory reporting  

If a supplier or seller becomes aware that a good or product-related service they have supplied or sold has caused, or may have caused death or serious injury or illness to any person, they must report it to the Commonwealth Minister within 2 days. For more information, including a copy of the Mandatory Reporting Form and the Mandatory Reporting Guidelines visit www.productsafety.gov.au

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Product recalls 

When a product is identified as unsafe, steps must be taken to remove it from the marketplace and the hands of consumers. For information and practical advice for suppliers and sellers on how to conduct a recall including guidelines, advertisement templates and reporting forms, visit www.recalls.gov.au or call 1300 302 502.

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Electrical appliances 

Electrical appliances must be designed and manufactured so they will not cause electric shock, injury, death or fire damage during normal use, and must comply with mandatory safety standards. Fair Trading administers compulsory pre-sale certification for specific types of electrical appliances, and voluntary certification for all other electrical products.

Gas appliances  

All portable gas appliances and appliances connected to bottle gas must be certified to comply with mandatory safety standards. It is illegal to sell uncertified gas appliances and to connect uncertified gas appliances to a gas network. These laws enable consumers to feel confident that goods with an approved compliance label are safe.

For more information on Electrical articles and Gas appliances, go to the Product safety business section of the Fair Trading website or call the Fair Trading Energy and Utilities Unit on 9895 0722.

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