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Consultation for options to limit consumer exposure to hazardous azo dyes

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Date: 24th February 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering options to limit consumer exposure to hazardous azo dyes in certain clothing, textiles and leather goods. A consultation regulation impact statement (RIS) has been developed and is now available for stakeholder comment. The draft RIS sets out:

  • the problem that the ACCC is trying to solve
  • why Government intervention may be appropriate
  • the options available to limit consumer exposure to hazardous azo dyes
  • the benefits and costs of each option.

The ACCC is requesting stakeholders make submissions on the draft RIS by close of business 10 April 2015.

Stakeholders likely to be affected by any of the options set out in the draft RIS are encouraged to make a submission and describe the impact of the options on them (or their business) and if possible explain the additional costs they may face under each option.

On this page:

Contact Details

Submissions can be made:

Why has the ACCC released a draft regulation impact statement?

The ACCC has released a draft regulation impact statement because one of the options it is proposing to limit consumer exposure to hazardous azo dyes involves regulation. When the ACCC proposes a regulation option for a product safety issue, it must develop a regulation impact statement and hold a public consultation.

Where can I get a copy of the draft regulation impact statement?

The draft regulation impact statement is available on this page and on the ACCC Consultation Hub.

Has the ACCC made a new law on azo dyes?

No – the ACCC has released a public consultation paper on options to limit consumer exposure to azo dyes. Publishing the consultation paper does not create a new law or regulation.

The ACCC has guidance on safe levels for certain chemicals in clothing, textiles and leather articles, available on this website.

What is the law in Australia about azo dyes?

In Australia there are restrictions on supplying certain benzidine-based azo dyes – that is, the dyes themselves – through Schedule 7 of the Poisons Standard. Schedule 7 applies to dangerous poisons and it generally bans their supply, possession and use. The Australian government is currently consulting on adding more hazardous azo dyes to Schedule 7 of the Poisons Standard as a result of recommendations from the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) (please note: this is a separate consultation process).

Listing hazardous azo dyes in the Poisons Standard does not prevent their use in certain finished consumer goods like clothing, textiles and leather goods.

How do I comment on the draft regulation impact statement?

You can comment via the ACCC’s Consultation Hub, via email or via regular post. The consultation paper sets out how you can make a submission. The paper and contact details are available on this page.

How long do I have to comment on the draft regulation impact statement?

Public consultation commences on Tuesday 24 February 2015 and closes on Friday 10 April 2015.  If you would like to make a submission, please do so by close of business Friday 10 April 2015.

What happens after submissions close?

The ACCC will review all submissions. If the ACCC needs clarification about a submission, it will contact the stakeholder who submitted it.

The ACCC will then consider the information available to it and make a recommendation to the Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson MP, on which option seems most appropriate.

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