Information on products recalls and where to go for further information.
This page includes information on:
- what's recall?
- legal requirements
- your consumer rights
- how to report a safety concern
- advice to be a savvy consumer
What's a recall?
Products are recalled if they are unsafe or likely to cause injury through use or misuse.
Product recalls can be voluntary (initiated by the business/supplier) or mandatory (initiated by a government authority).
Where problems occur with a product, we have the power to remove unsafe goods from sale. This might include recalling dangerous products or issuing a public warning about a particular defect or dangerous product.
Many suppliers voluntarily recall their own product/s after they become aware that it presents a safety risk. Voluntary product recalls might also be negotiated by NSW Fair Trading or other regulators.
Under Australian Consumer Law, suppliers must advise the Commonwealth Minister responsible for competition and consumer policy within two days of starting a voluntary recall action.
Under some circumstances, the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation can issue a compulsory recall notice to NSW consumers and suppliers, and the Commonwealth Minister responsible for competition and consumer policy can do the same Australia-wide.
If a death or serious injury or illness has been associated with a product, suppliers also need to lodge a mandatory report with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) via the Product Safety Australia website.
"Selling products that breach mandatory safety or information standards or which have been temporarily or permanently banned is illegal."
Your consumer rights
As a consumer, you have the right to expect that the goods you buy are safe.
Australian Consumer Law requires safety standards to be met before certain goods are sold. These standards include:
- the way the good is made
- what it contains
- how it works
- the tests it needs to pass
- whether any warnings or instructions need to accompany it.
Individual suppliers who breach Australian Consumer Law can be fined up to $220,000, while corporations can be fined up to $1.1 million.
How to report a product safety concern
IMPORTANT: If you are injured or require urgent medical assistance, don’t delay - contact your GP or call 000 immediately.
If you become aware of an unsafe situation or item, whether or not anyone has been injured:
- Alert the supplier about the issue.
- You can also report it us by calling 13 32 20 or making a complaint online, or report the matter to Product Safety Australia.
Be a savvy consumer
Browse the Product safety section for more information on a range of product types including baby and children’s products, gas and electrical goods, and other consumer items.
The Product Safety Australia website is managed by the ACCC and has lots of information on product safety and national recalls.
If you’re a business and want to learn more about your obligations, read our Selling safe products page.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call us on 13 32 20 or submit an online enquiry.
Who enforces Australian Consumer Law?
The following agencies enforce provisions relating to consumer goods and services:
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- NSW Fair Trading, and
- other State and Territory consumer protection agencies.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for financial products and services.