The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) takes a leading role in ensuring that products both manufactured locally and imported met strict safety regulations.
However, the authority has highlighted two recent cases where online traders have been forced to pay infringement notices after they supplied household costs that didn’t comply with basic safety standards. The ACCC has recalled the ‘Wooden Sleigh 3-in-1 Baby Cot’ sold by New Aim Pty Ltd (OzPlaza.Living) on eBay between June and September 2013, and the ‘Canterbury Cot’ that was sold by Le Tian (SavingForAussie) also through the online shopping site.
ACCC testing discovered there is a risk that infants could fall out of the cots, suffocate or become trapped in the cot structure. The authority illustrated that infants have died in unsafe cots in recent years.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard explained that it is unacceptable for traders to sell unsafe products to parents, particularly when children are involved.
“The ACCC is committed to improving product safety and will not hesitate to take enforcement action when retailers put the safety of infants and children at risk, regardless of whether retailers are large corporations or sole traders,” she said.
“The design, safety and performance, informative labeling and marking requirements of the standard for household cots are very important as they are designed to reduce the risk of serious injury to children and infants.”
New Aim Pty Ltd was fined $10,200 and Le Tian, as a sole trader, paid a $2,040 penalty. The two online traders have also agreed with the court to continue efforts to recall the dangerous cots. This is being done through notifications, offers of free collection and refunds.
Each trader will also implement consumer law compliance programs with a focus on developing product safety procedures.
Cots have been under strict surveillance by the ACCC in recent years with more than 5,000 cots recalled since last year. In fact, since in the last month alone, five brands were recalled.
A full list of the recalled cots is available on the Australian Recalls website.
Product liability in NSW
If you or your child is injured by any product, regardless of whether it has been recalled or not, you could be eligible for compensation.
Injuries from products are more common than most people think so if you believe you have a case, contact a compensation lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances of success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.