Product categories

Sunglasses & fashion spectacles

Sunglasses
Check Sunglasses & fashion spectacles for more information
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.

Under the mandatory standard, sunglasses and fashion spectacles are darkened or polarised glasses worn over the eyes. Sunglasses provide varying levels of protection from the harmful effects of the sun, whereas fashion spectacles may not. Unlike prescription glasses, sunglasses and fashion spectacles do not magnify or reduce the size of a viewed image. Sunglasses and fashion spectacles include:

  • one-piece sunglasses
  • visor type sunglasses
  • clip-on sunglasses
  • children’s sunglasses.

On this page:

Exemptions

The mandatory standard does not apply to:

  • safety glasses and safety goggles intended to provide protection against optical radiation
  • eyewear for protection against radiation in solaria
  • ski goggles
  • glasses for use as toys and clearly and legibly labelled as toys
  • glasses or goggles for special use, including medical shields especially designed for use by vision impaired persons.

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Hazards

Inflammation

  • Solar ultraviolet radiation can cause an inflammation of the front surfaces of the eye.

Cataracts, pterygium or eyelid cancers

  • Long-term exposure of the eyes to ultraviolet radiation may also be a factor in causing cataracts, pterygium (abnormal tissue growth over the eye) or eyelid cancers.

Retina degeneration

  • Long-term exposure to near ultraviolet radiation in the wavelength band 315 to 400 mm may be a factor in causing degeneration of the retina of the eye.

Impaired night vision

  • Sunglasses reduce the ability to see at low light levels, at night for example.
  • Sunglasses with lens category 1 are not suitable for driving at night, as they can cause impaired vision.
  • Sunglasses with lens category 4 must not be used when driving at any time, as they can cause impaired vision during day or night.

Mandatory standard

The mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles is based on Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067:2003 Sunglasses and fashion spectacles. AS/NZS 1067:2003 is a voluntary standard except for those sections specifically called into the mandatory standard, which then become law. You must consult the mandatory standard for these details.

Consumer Protection Notices No.13 of 2003 and No. 4 of 2005, as amended, outline the mandatory aspects of the standard. They cover specific performance requirements for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.

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 sunglasses and fashion spectacles, 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 all mandatory requirements for sunglasses, suppliers must read the:

This information is essential to ensure that you and your business comply with the mandatory standard. Suppliers may also find the Regulation impact statement—Sunglasses and fashion spectacles helpful in understanding aspects of the mandatory standard.

Penalties and consequences

Suppliers can face heavy fines and recalls of non-compliant products if they trade in sunglasses and fashion spectacles that fail to meet requirements of the mandatory standard. For more details, view Penalties and consequences.

Some key requirements

The requirements noted below are key requirements only. They may help to give suppliers a general idea of the detail they must look up in the mandatory standard. This information may also assist consumers when they are choosing sunglasses and fashion spectacles.

While we provide some advice on this page to help you understand aspects of the standard you can visually check, suppliers must not rely on this information as a complete guide to compliance.

Testing

The mandatory standard specifies marking and labelling requirements as well as testing procedures to ensure sunglasses and fashion spectacles meet specific performance, construction and labelling requirements. Suppliers need to organise this testing through specialist laboratories with the right skills, experience and equipment.

Performance

Classifications

A five-category classification method identifies sunglasses and fashion spectacles by their performance in certain conditions and suitability for use. Under AS/NZS 1067:2003, sunglasses and fashion spectacles are classified as one of the following:

Lens category 0:  Fashion spectacles
These are not sunglasses, as they have a very low ability to reduce sun glare. They provide limited UV protection.

Lens category 1: Fashion spectacles
Like category 0 lenses, these are not sunglasses; however, they do provide limited sun glare reduction and UV protection. Fashion spectacles with category 1 lenses are not suitable for driving at night.

Lens category 2: Sunglasses
These sunglasses provide a medium level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.

Lens category 3: Sunglasses
Similar to category 2, these sunglasses provide a good level of UV protection. Lens category 3 glasses also provide a high level of sun glare reduction.

Lens category 4: Sunglasses
These are special purpose sunglasses that provide a very high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Lens category 4 sunglasses must not be used when driving at any time.

In addition to the five category classifications above, the mandatory standard also covers the following:

Photochromic lenses
Also known as variable tint lenses, photochromic lenses may not be suitable for night driving, depending on their transmittance properties (i.e. their ability to reduce sun glare and level of UV protection).

Non-conforming lenses
Non-conforming lenses have the ability to alter a person’s colour recognition, and in particular the detection of traffic light colours. In some cases these lenses must not be used when driving.

Construction

The mandatory standard requires that:

  • lenses and frames be free of projections and sharp edges which may be likely to cause injury during their use
  • lenses in both sunglasses and fashion spectacles must be firmly and securely fitted to the frame
  • all sunglasses, except fashion spectacles, must cover a minimum field of view
  • adult sunglasses must cover two ellipses of 40 mm wide and 28 mm high, with centres separated by at least 64 mm
  • children’s sunglasses must cover two ellipses of 34 mm wide and 24 mm high, with centres separated by at least 54 mm.

Marking and labelling

The marking or labelling must be unobscured by other stickers or labels such as price labels. All assembled sunglasses must be clearly and legibly marked or labelled with:

  • the identity of the manufacturer or supplier
  • the lens category number
  • one of the lens and category descriptions listed below. 

Lens categories and descriptions

Lens category 0 description:
  • Fashion spectaclesnot sunglasses
  • Very low sun glare reduction
  • Some UV protection

Additional information:
None

Required symbol:
None

Lens category 1 description:
  • Fashion spectaclesnot sunglasses
  • Limited sun glare reduction
  • Some UV protection

Additional information:
NOT SUITABLE FOR DRIVING AT NIGHT

Required symbol:
None

Lens category 2 description:
  • Sunglasses
  • Medium sun glare reduction
  • Good UV protection

Additional information:
None

Required symbol:
None

Lens category 3 description:
  • Sunglasses
  • High sun glare reduction
  • Good UV protection

Additional information:
None

Required symbol:
None

Lens category 4 description:
  • Sunglassesspecial purpose
  • Very high sun glare reduction
  • Good UV protection

Additional information:
MUST NOT BE USED WHEN DRIVING

Required symbol:

Lens category 4 symbol

(This symbol must appear at a minimum height of 5 mm)

Alerts

Exposing your eyes to very high levels of sunlight can cause serious and sometimes irreversible damage. Some sunglasses can also impair your vision in other ways. Protecting your eyes from the harsh Australian sun could be as easy as choosing the right pair of sunglasses.

Legal cases and undertakings

Date commenced: 25th March 2008
Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd, the publisher of Marie Claire, a women’s fashion magazine, has given court enforceable undertakings under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 to the ACCC in relation to the supply of fashion sunglasses which failed to comply with the prescribed mandatory standard based on AS/NZS 1067:2003 Sunglasses and fashion spectacles.
Date commenced: 28th July 2008
Busby Distribution Pty Ltd—sunglasses failed to comply with the mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.
Date commenced: 13th May 2008
Chelsea Girl Pty Ltd—sunglasses failed to comply with the mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.
Date commenced: 29th April 2008
Paris Miki Australia Pty Ltd—sunglasses that failed to comply with the the mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.
Date commenced: 28th April 2008
Fossil Retail Stores (Australia) Pty Ltd—sunglasses and fashion spectacles failed to comply with the mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.
Date commenced: 28th April 2008
J. L. Footwear Pty Ltd (Nine West)—sunglasses failed to comply with the mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.

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