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.
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 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.
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:
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.
While Australian voluntary standards may address a range of issues that are not safety related, mandatory safety standards should only address essential safety features.
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.
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 and came into effect on 1 January 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This mandatory standard applies to self-balancing scooters. A self-balancing scooter is a two-wheeled ride on device with no steering grips, seats or handlebars, which is powered by a lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable via connection to a mains power supply.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.