Product categories

Mandatory standards

The purpose of a mandatory standard is to make particular safety or information features on consumer products compulsory for legal supply of the product into the Australian market.

The Commonwealth minister can impose mandatory safety standards that set specific requirements for consumer goods or product-related services.

It is an offence to supply consumer goods or product-related services that do not comply with mandatory standards. View Penalties & consequences for more information about mandatory standards and the law.

This site lists all mandatory safety standards and mandatory information standards relevant to product safety.

On this page:

Mandatory safety standards

Mandatory safety standards are made for products that are likely to be especially hazardous. In making mandatory safety standards, the government protects consumers by specifying minimum requirements that products must meet before they are supplied.  Safety standards require goods to comply with particular performance, composition, contents, methods of manufacture or processing, design, construction, finish or packaging rules.

From 1 January 2011, a prescribed consumer product safety standard made under the Trade Practices Act 1974 which is still in force on 1 January 2011 continues in force as if it were a safety standard made under the ACL.

Mandatory information standards

Mandatory information standards are introduced to ensure that consumers are provided with important details of a product to enable them to make appropriate personal choices. Information standards require suppliers to give consumers prescribed information when they purchase specified goods for example, ingredient labelling for cosmetics, labelling for tobacco products and care labelling for clothing and textile products. Information standards may or may not relate to safety.

From 1 January 2011, a prescribed consumer product information standard made under the Trade Practices Act 1974 which is still in force on 1 January 2011 continues in force as if it were an information standard made under the ACL.

Use of voluntary standards

There are many voluntary standards in place in Australia. Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform as intended. Voluntary standards establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria.

When a government decides to develop a mandatory standard, a voluntary standard often exists where experts have already identified ways to address the safety problem. If this has occurred, the Australian Government may make all or part of the voluntary standard mandatory. There are two key differences between voluntary and mandatory standards:

  1. It is legal to supply products in Australia that do not meet voluntary Australian standards, while mandatory standards are law and there are penalties and consequences for supplying products that do not comply with them.
  2. While Australian voluntary standards may address a range of issues that are not safety related, mandatory safety standards should only address essential safety features.

Regulation impact statements

When considering whether to introduce a mandatory standard, governments conduct research and consult with industry and consumer representatives to develop a regulation impact statement (RIS).

The RIS weighs up evidence of the:

  • current market forces influencing the product and market
  • causes of potential dangers
  • options for reducing the risk for consumers 
  • potential economic and social impact of regulatory and non-regulatory measures.

Copies of relevant regulatory impact statements are available on the mandatory standard pages listed below.

Full list of mandatory standards

As outlined above, this site currently lists all Commonwealth mandatory safety standards and mandatory information standards relevant to product safety.

inflatable pool toy The mandatory standard for aquatic toys came into effect on 1 April 2010 and is the only mandatory standard for aquatic toys. It covers labelling for aquatic toys.
Bath aid for babies The mandatory standard for baby bath aids came into effect on 13 May 2005. It covers various labelling requirements for baby bath aids and their packaging.
Set of baby dummies The mandatory standard for baby dummies came into effect on 20 October 2006. It covers requirements for design, construction and safety labelling.
Baby walker This mandatory standard came into effect on 15 February 2013. It covers design, construction, performance and labelling requirements for baby walkers.
Balloon blowing kit with tubes and straws The mandatory standard for balloon blowing kits came into effect on 26 February 1997. It specifies that balloon blowing kits cannot contain the chemical benzene in the synthetic substance.
Basketball ring, basketball and backboard The mandatory standard for basketball rings and backboards came into effect on 11 October 2005. It covers specific safety marking requirements for basketball rings and backboards.
Red Bean bag The mandatory standard for bean bags came into effect on 28 October 1987 and was last amended 21 November 2014 (with the amended standard commencing 1 January 2016). It applies to bean bags and bean bag covers that have openings through which the filling can be accessed or can escape.
mother and son with bicycles wearing bicycle helmets The mandatory standard for bicycle helmets covers design, construction and safety marking requirements for bicycle helmets.
Mountain Bicycle This mandatory standard came into effect on 30 October 1980 and was last amended on 2 November 2004. It covers design and labelling requirements for child and adult pedal bicycles.
blind cords tied up against wall with cleat The mandatory standard for internal blinds, curtains and window fittings (corded internal window coverings) was declared on 8 July 2010 and applies to relevant blinds, curtains and some fittings supplied after 30 December 2010. The mandatory standard that deals with the installation services of window coverings was made on 28 March 2014. This regulation commences on 1 January 2015 - the new requirements do not apply until that date.
Bunk bed The mandatory standard for bunk beds came into effect on 7 April 2005. It covers specific construction, design and labelling requirements for bunk beds.
T-shirts on hangers The mandatory standard for care labelling was initially introduced on 1 March 1980. It was then amended in 1 January 2004 and reviewed in 2009. The latest revision of the mandatory standard came into effect on 1 September 2010. It covers requirements for care labelling for clothing and textiles.
baby in Child car restraint  The mandatory standard for child restraints for motor vehicles came into effect on 7 November 1978 and was last amended 19 September 2014. It covers various requirements for the design, construction, performance, user instructions, marking and packaging of child car restraints.
three disposable cigarette lighters This mandatory standard came into effect on 1 March 1997. It covers specific child resistance, labelling, testing, performance and compliance requirements for disposable cigarette lighters.
RFR label example This mandatory standard was registered on 22 September 2008. There are two critical compliance dates - 23 March 2010 and 29 September 2010. The mandatory standard covers performance, packaging and marking requirements for reduced fire risk cigarettes.
Selection of cosmetics The mandatory standard for ingredients labelling on cosmetics came into effect on 31 October 1993 and was last amended 23 May 2008. It covers labelling for cosmetics.
Household cot with slats The mandatory standard for household cots came into effect on 3 December 2005. It covers various requirements for new, second-hand, antique and collectable cots.
portable folding cot The mandatory standard for children's portable folding cots came in to effect on 1 March 2009. It covers testing, design and construction, safety and performance and safety markings for folding cots.
upright exercise cycle The mandatory standard for exercise cycles came in to effect on 5 September 2007. It covers requirements including construction, design and instruction requirements.
Portable aerosol fire extinguisher The mandatory standard for portable aerosol fire extinguishers came into effect on 22 December 1999 and was last amended 1 January 2005. It covers specific materials and construction, design, charge, performance, testing, labelling and instruction requirements for portable aerosol fire extinguishers.
Fire Extinguisher non aerosol The mandatory standard for portable non-aerosol fire extinguishers came into effect on 31 October 1978 and was last amended 25 August 2004. It covers cylinder construction, performance test requirements and identification colours.
Hot water bottle The mandatory standard for hot water bottles came into effect on 1 June 2008. It covers design and construction, performance and labelling.
Trolley jack This mandatory standard came into effect on 2 August 2008. It covers a variety of requirements for trolley jacks, including design, construction, performance and labelling requirements.
Vehicle jack This mandatory standard was declared on 12 February 2010 and came into effect on 1 July 2011. It covers requirements for design, construction, performance and instructions for safe use for a variety of vehicle jacks.
Elastic luggage strap The mandatory standard came into effect on 1 December 2004. It covers specific safety markings and labelling requirements for elastic luggage straps.
Motorcycle helmet This mandatory standard came into effect on 19 December 1990. It covers performance, construction, testing and labelling requirements.
Two boys wearing pyjamas and paper patterns for nightwear This mandatory standard came into effect on 1 March 2008. It covers safety and labelling requirements for children's nightwear and paper patterns for making children's nightwear.
Portable swimming pool.jpg The mandatory standard for portable swimming pools came into effect on 30 March 2014. It covers labelling requirements for portable swimming pools.
Stroller The mandatory standard for prams and strollers came into effect on 1 July 2008. It covers performance testing, design, construction, safety warnings and informative labels for prams and strollers.
portable motor vehicle ramp with car This mandatory standard came into effect on 12 February 2010. It includes design, construction, performance and labelling requirements for portable motor vehicle ramps.
Motor vehicle recovery straps The mandatory standard for motor vehicle recovery straps was declared on 7 July 2010 and came into effect on 1 October 2010. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with this mandatory standard.
Moveable soccer goals The mandatory standard for moveable soccer goals was declared on 1 July 2010 and came into effect on 31 December 2010. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with this mandatory standard.
Sunglasses The mandatory standard for these products came into effect on 1 July 1985 and was last amended 25 August 2005. It covers lens categories, construction and labelling requirements.
two vehicle support stands This mandatory standard came into effect on 25 November 2008. It includes design, construction, safety marking and packaging requirements for vehicle support stands.
child with inflatable floaties The mandatory standard for swimming and flotation aids came into effect on 1 April 2010 and is the only mandatory standard for swimming and flotation aids. It covers labelling for swimming and flotation aids.
Tobacco health warning example The Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011 (Tobacco Standard) for tobacco products came into effect on 1 December 2012. It covers a variety of labelling, including explanatory, information and warning messages and graphics.
toy dart gun and a bow and arrow set The mandatory standard for projectile toys was declared on 7 July 2010 and comes into effect on 31 December 2010. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with this mandatory standard.
children's blocks and child with fingerpaint on hands The mandatory standard for toys and finger paints containing lead and other elements came into effect on 1 January 2010.
alphabet letter magnets The mandatory standard for children's toys containing magnets was declared on 16 February 2010 and came into effect on 1 July 2010. It covers warning labels required for packaging, and instructions to prevent serious illness that can result if children swallow hazardous magnets.
teething toy for baby The mandatory standard for toys for children up to and including 36 months of age came into effect on 17 December 2003. It covers specific testing methods, as well as design and construction requirements.
Treadmill with motorised conveyor belt The mandatory standard for treadmills came in to effect on 6 June 2009. It covers labelling requirements.

Myths

It is a myth that it is legal to sell non-compliant products if the customer accepts that the product does not comply.

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