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Product safety tips for online shopping

Be careful when buying online - check your purchases meet mandatory Australian requirements.

For consumers

If you buy goods from overseas:

  • They may not comply with mandatory Australian safety standards and bans that protect you and your family from injury – although this is required by law
  • They may have been recalled in Australia or another country*
  • Consumer guarantees, which are mandatory consumer rights applying when goods are sold in Australia, may be difficult to enforce if you purchase a product from an overseas supplier
  • You may not be able to obtain compensation if the goods cause an injury

The ACCC’s Product Safety Australia and Recalls Australia websites can help you make a safer online purchase by giving you the information you need to determine if your purchase meets Australian standards.

To ensure the products you purchase are safe:

  1. Check the full list of mandatory standards and full list of banned products on this website to find out if your product is regulated. Please note that electrical consumer goods are not regulated by the ACCC but by individual states and territories. For safety information about electrical appliances and goods, please contact the Electrical Regulatory Authority Council (ERAC).
  2. If the product you want to buy is regulated – click the link under the picture of the product to find the supplier information on what the regulation for your product requires.
  3. Before you buy ask you supplier if the product complies with any mandatory requirements
  4. Download the recalls app or check the Product Recalls Australia website to check the goods you want to supply have not been recalled in Australia.

Consumers who have difficulties with an international business can also contact the consumer protection agency in the country where the firm is located.

*You can now check recalls internationally following the launch of a global recalls portal, GlobalRecalls.

For suppliers

All businesses supplying goods to Australia – including online stores – must comply with mandatory safety standards and bans.

To ensure the products you plan to supply to Australia comply with mandatory product safety regulations:

  1. Check the full list of mandatory standards  and full list of banned products on the Product Safety Australia  website to find out if your product is regulated. Please note that electrical consumer goods are not regulated by the ACCC but by individual states and territories. For safety information about electrical appliances and goods, please contact the Electrical Regulatory Authority Council (ERAC).
  2. If the product is regulated – click the link under the picture of the product to find the supplier information on what the regulation for your product requires.
  3. Download the recalls app or check the Product Recalls Australia to check the goods you want to supply have not been recalled in Australia.

The ACCC has taken action against overseas online suppliers who have breached the law. As a result, some online businesses have had to modify their website and at least one overseas supplier has had their websites removed altogether by their Internet Service Provider. The ACCC also works with international government agencies who may take other action requested by the ACCC.

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