In February 2017, the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched a public consultation1 to review the mandatory safety standards for toys until 31 March. This aims to see if the standards are still effective in addressing the safety hazards and referencing of outdated voluntary Australian standards. The current five standards being reviewed are:
1. Toys for children up to and including 36 months;
2. Children’s projectile toys;
3. Children’s toys containing magnets;
4. Flotation and aquatic toys;
5. Lead and other elements in children’s toys.
The ACCC provided preliminary position to allow compliance with the updated voluntary Australian or trusted international standards (e.g. ASTM, EN, IEC, ISO). Although this option could make enforcement difficult for regulators, the compliance costs for suppliers and market entry barriers would be likely reduced. It is also suggested to merge and amend the five standards into a single “principles-based” regulation to bring Australian regulatory requirements harmonised with other major international markets.
Also in this consultation paper, the ACCC included the supplementary information and alerts2 regarding the intended use of teething necklace or teething jewellery. To reduce the risk of injury or death of infants from choking hazard or strangulation risk to babies and toddlers, the ACCC is now seeking stakeholder views to introduce the mandatory safety standard on the products.