Product categories

Bean bags

Red Bean bag
Check Bean bags for more information
The mandatory standard applies to bean bags and bean bag covers that have openings through which the filling can be accessed or can escape, and prescribes a labelling requirement for packages containing bean bag filling.

After a review by the ACCC, a revised standard was published in November 2014. An amendment in 2015 adjusted the transition arrangements so that suppliers can comply with the new standard immediately but must not supply products under the old standard after 30 June 2016.

Under the mandatory standard, a bean bag is a material sack (with or without a liner) encasing a large quantity of polystyrene foam beads. A bean bag is usually a classic pyramid-shaped sack used for seating but there are now many more variations on shape and size. The mandatory standard only applies to bean bags and bean bag liners that have openings through which the filling can be accessed; items that do not have any openings through which filling can escape or be accessed are not covered by this mandatory standard.

The following other items will ONLY be covered by the mandatory standard if the item has an opening through which the filling can be accessed or can escape:

  • aqua bean bags for swimming pools
  • chairs
  • cushions
  • pillows
  • lounges
  • footstools
  • futon mattresses
  • novelty cushions for children
  • nursing and therapeutic pillows and cushions
  • pet beds
  • stable tables.

On this page:

Hazards

Suffocation

Children may crawl inside a bean bag cover and suffocate when their breathing is restricted by the bag and its contents.

Infants may also suffocate if put to sleep on a bean bag that is not sufficiently firm to support the infant’s head and neck.

Choking

Children, particularly those aged less than three years, may inhale the polystyrene beads contained in bean bags. Bean bag fillings have been associated with a number of chokings.

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Mandatory standard

Until 30 June 2016, suppliers can comply with the requirements set out either in the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standards) Regulations 1979 OR the Consumer Goods (Bean Bags) Safety standard 2014.
From 1 July 2016, ALL products must comply with the Consumer Goods (Bean Bags) Safety standard 2014.

Transition period to new standard

To allow for a smooth transition to the new standard, from 14 July 2015, suppliers can begin selling goods that comply with the Consumer Goods (Bean Bags) Safety standard 2014, or continue to sell products that comply with Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standards) Regulations 1979 and prepare to comply with the new standard.

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Does this apply to your business?

Under the ACL supply includes:

  • in relation to goods - (including re-supply) by way of sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase and
  • in relation to services - provide, grant of confer. 

This mandatory standard applies to anyone in the business of supplying bean bags, including:

  • manufacturers
  • importers
  • distributors
  • retailers
  • hirers.

To allow for staggered implementation, there are some cases where a mandatory standard or ban prescribes different compliance dates for the manufacturing, importing and supply of a product. Manufacturers, importers and distributors should check for this detail in the mandatory standard before embarking on production, importation or distribution of these goods.

Complying with the mandatory standard

For complete information about the mandatory requirements for bean bags, we strongly advise you to read the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standards) Regulations 1979.

Penalties and consequences

Suppliers can face heavy fines and product recalls if they supply bean bags that do not meet the mandatory standard.  For more details, view Penalties and consequences.

Some key requirements

Design and construction

Safety markings

  • All bean bags, bean bag covers packaging and filling must have a warning message.
  • The warning message must be conspicuous and fixed securely, or stamped on the item.
  • The word ‘WARNING’ must appear in red and upper-case lettering on a white background, at least 5 mm high.
  • The remaining words must appear in title case. The upper-case letters need to be at least 5 mm high.
  • The bag lining must come with labels, even if it is fully enclosed. This is because lining covers may be changed and the warning still needs to be present.

Legal cases and undertakings

Date commenced: 15th April 2011
Traders supplied bean bag covers which failed the mandatory labelling standard
Date commenced: 6th February 2008
SlumberTrek Australia Pty Ltd—Elmo Shaped bean bag cover (the Elmo bag) did not comply with the mandatory standard for bean bags.

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