The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently reviewing the mandatory safety standards for children's nightwear to:
Address consumer confusion over warning labels and improve their effectiveness
Simplify compliance and reduce costs for suppliers
Restore regulatory alignment with New Zealand.
The ACCC published the consultation paper “Review of safety standard for children’s nightwear and limited daywear“ on September 2016. In this consultation ACCC has also reviewed international standards, such as European, British, US and ISO standard to assess the more efficient way to achieve safety for children's nightwear.
The ACCC is considering following four policy options for dealing with the current mandatory safety standard: Option 1: Retain the current safety standard (status quo). Option 2: Adopt the updated Australian voluntary standard. Option 3: Adopt international standards. Option 4: Revoke the safety standard.
The ACCC believe that the most effective option is to update the safety standard to adopt improvements in the 2014 version of the voluntary Australian standard (Option 2). This would improve safety, simplify the requirements and reduce costs for suppliers.
The ACCC is seeking comment from stakeholders on the proposal by 4 November 2016, particularly about:
The support on adoption of the updated voluntary Australian standard AS/NZS 1249:2014.
the impact of introducing the “molten fabric” test;
the exclusion of products (such as paper patterns); and
Background: The supply of children’s nightwear has been regulated since 1977 to address uncommon but severe childhood burns by removing dangerously flammable products from the market and to provide safety related warnings to consumers at the point of sale. The safety standard was last updated on 1 March 2008 and is based on the voluntary standard AS/NZS 1249:2003 Children’s nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard. The voluntary standard was updated in 2014 but the changes did not update the safety standard.