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Wholesalers—also known as distributors—play an important role in product safety.  Because many different products pass through the hands of wholesalers before they are sold by retailers, wholesalers have the opportunity to stop unsafe products from reaching shops and online stores.

On this page:

Supplying safe products

As a wholesaler, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure the products you supply are safe.

1.Ensure your suppliers comply

When ordering products, make sure you specify to your suppliers the need for compliance with safety standards and regulations.  You should also do this if you submit product designs to manufacturers.

2. Ensure necessary product tests have been done

Many products need testing to check that they are safe.  As a wholesaler you must ensure that the manufacturer or importer has done any required tests before supplying the products.

Check the section on mandatory standards to see whether products you intend to sell require testing.  If so, ask your supplier for proof of independent testing and certification as well as test reports.  You may also need to get copies of relevant standards and other documents to check this.

3.Check products before you distribute them

You can visually check some safety aspects, such as safety devices and labelling.  Check your stock before you distribute it to ensure all products are safe and comply with mandatory standards.

4.Be cautious when advertising and marketing

It is illegal to make claims about a product that exaggerate or misrepresent what it is designed to do, so consider all of a product’s key safety aspects before advertising or marketing it to retailers.

Advertisements, catalogues and displays

Make sure that any statements about a product, photos or displays of it show the product exactly as it is when a customer buys it.  If a product comes with mandatory safety features or labelling, it may be illegal not to show these.

Marketing and sales

Don’t overstate what a product is capable of even though it might be tempting to do this when trying to sell it.  This can have safety consequences as well as legal ones.  Make sure your sales staff members know to avoid this.

5.Manage your risk

Wholesalers often deal in many different types of products.  Stock control can be a challenge, especially for large volumes of low value items.  Even so, as a wholesaler you have a vital responsibility to supply safe products to the Australian public.  To do this, it is essential that you have a risk management process in place.

Australian/New Zealand Standard 4360:2004 ‘Risk management’ provides general advice on managing risk.  Suppliers should apply this standard to all stages in the life of a product, asset, project, activity or function.  You usually get the most benefit when you apply the risk management process right from the start.

6.Monitor product safety in your industry

Check the Product Safety Recalls Australia website regularly for updates on any unsafe products supplied by others and use the information provided on this website.

Role of suppliers

Tips, myths and FAQs

For all business related tips, view Business focused tips.

For all business related myths, view Business focused myths.

For all business related FAQs, view Business focused FAQs.



View Bans for the current national, state and territory product safety bans.

Mandatory Standards

Mandatory Standards

View Mandatory standards for the current national, state and territory product safety mandatory standards.



Check for any recalls related to this page.


Read this tip to see how breaking product safety laws can cost you time, money and stress.

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