ACCC takes action against online suppliers of unsafe household cots
Date: 6th August 2014
Two online traders have separately paid infringement notices and provided court enforceable undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after admitting that they supplied household cots that did not comply with the mandatory safety standard.
The household cots were recalled after testing obtained by the ACCC identified a risk that infants might fall out of the cots, suffocate or become entrapped in the cots. Infants have died in unsafe cots in the past.
New Aim Pty Ltd, which trades as ‘OzPlaza.Living’, sold the ‘Wooden Sleigh 3-in-1 Baby Cot’ through its eBay store between June and September 2013. Le Tian, trading as ‘SavingForAussie’, sold the ‘Canterbury Cot’ through its eBay store between May and September 2013. New Aim Pty Ltd paid an infringement notice penalty of $10,200 and as a sole trader, Le Tian paid an infringement notice penalty of $2,040.
“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,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard 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,” Ms Rickard said.
As part of their court-enforceable undertakings, New Aim and Le Tian both agreed to make further attempts to notify affected customers about the recalls, continue to offer free collection of affected cots and refunds to customers and implement consumer law compliance programs with a focus on developing product safety procedures. Each trader cooperated with the ACCC and initiated voluntary recalls shortly after being contacted.
As a result of the ACCC’s proactive cot safety surveillance program, nearly 5,500 household cots have been recalled since 2013.
“All businesses should have a comprehensive compliance program in place to ensure that the goods they sell are safe and comply with mandatory standards. In particular, businesses should be familiar with Australian safety regulations, perform regular safety audits and carry out post-production inspections by qualified staff,” Ms Rickard said.
The ACCC is currently consulting with industry and consumer groups about possible improvements to the safety standard for household cots and other children’s products. Further information is available on this website under Current consultations.