Safety checks for Christmas

21 December 2006

Children's toys, basketball rings and backboards and elastic luggage straps are just some of the dangerous products removed from sale as a result of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's recent product safety surveys.

Christmas gifts were specifically targeted, such as bicycles, toys containing small balls for children under three and children's dart gun sets.

In the past nine months alone, the ACCC has surveyed 1,166 items in 581 retail outlets across Australia, resulting in 36 products being withdrawn from sale and eight being recalled. Non-compliance with mandatory product safety standards or bans was identified in 5 per cent of products inspected, with follow-up enforcement action being taken on each offending item.

"Mandatory product safety standards are in place to protect consumers", ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today. "Retailers, wholesalers, importers and manufacturers supplying products that are made and labelled in Australia or overseas, must ensure the products meet the requirements of all Australian mandatory product safety standards.

In the most recent ACCC surveys, sixteen basketball rings and backboards failed to meet mandatory safety warning requirements and children's nightwear garments had incorrect fire warning labels attached. In Canberra and Adelaide, elastic luggage straps with incorrect warning labels were found. Quick responses from retailers and suppliers resulted in immediate withdrawals from sale and national recalls.

A number of children's bicycles are currently being tested against the requirements of the mandatory safety standard. Five toys for children under three which contain small balls and which posed a choking hazard have been withdrawn from sale.

Two bean bags or ottomans, which were filled with small polystyrene beads but did not have a child resistant slide-fastener, were found at homemaker or design stores in Melbourne and Brisbane. These products were withdrawn from sale and recalled from consumers.

"Consumer safety is of paramount importance. The ACCC acts promptly against suppliers when consumers are placed at risk through non-compliance with mandatory safety standards. It will not hesitate to take action against suppliers which contravene the safety standards, particularly repeat offenders", Mr Samuel said.


  • Mandatory consumer product safety and information standards (link removed as item has been discontinued)
  • Publications: Safety information about goods (link removed as item has been discontinued)
Release number: 
MR 322/06
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Media enquiries: 
Ms Lin Enright - (02) 6243 1108
Mr Graeme Samuel - 0408 335 555