Court orders penalties of $500,000 for online retailer Ozsale’s non-compliant children's nightwear

Published: 
30 Aug 2016

The Federal Court has ordered Ozsale Pty Ltd (Ozsale) pay penalties totalling $500,000 for supplying children’s nightwear which did not comply with the Australian mandatory safety standard.

Ozsale sold over 200 non-compliant garments to Australian consumers and had over 11,000 non-compliant garments available for supply to Australian consumers. Ozsale is a membership-based online retailer predominantly selling clothing which is sourced by purchasing excess inventory from mostly overseas suppliers.

“The ACCC brought these proceedings because Ozsale placed children at increased risk of injury by supplying non-compliant garments. The Orange Superhero Pajamas were particularly concerning, as the fabric and the length of the cape presented a very real risk of injury, as it could easily brush against a heat source and very quickly catch fire,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Children can suffer serious burns when the nightwear they’re wearing catches fire. That is why it is crucial to know how flammable children’s nightwear is in the event of a fire. The mandatory safety standard for children’s nightwear exists to ensure that consumers have accurate information about flammability. In this case, one garment was so unsafe that it should not have been supplied in Australia at all.”

“All retailers who sell products covered by an Australian mandatory safety standard must ensure they have compliance processes in place to verify that the products they supply meet the safety standard. Failure to do so not only puts consumers at risk but, as these penalties demonstrate, is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law which can attract significant penalties,” Ms Rickard said.

Ozsale admitted in joint submissions to the court that it supplied five styles of nightwear on various dates between February 2014 and October 2015 that failed to meet the mandatory safety standard for children’s nightwear:

Ozsale also admitted it did not have adequate procedures in place to ensure that the children’s nightwear it offered for sale complied with the mandatory safety standard.

Background

The Australian mandatory standard for children’s nightwear prescribes requirements for safety testing and labelling of children's nightwear and paper patterns for making children's nightwear.

For some garments, the standard mandates the mass of certain fabrics. With garments made of certain materials such as cotton, the denser the material, the quicker it will burn.

The standard also sets the maximum allowable length for trims and attachments. Lengthy trims or attachments increase the risk of a garment coming in contact with a heat source, even when parents or care-givers may think a child is an adequate distance away from the heat source.

Each of the Ozsale products has been recalled, and details of the recalls are available via the following links:

Consumers who still have these products should stop using them immediately and return them to Ozsale for a full refund.

Ozsale also recently paid a $10,800 penalty and offered court enforceable undertakings for alleged misleading representations in relation to consumer guarantees, following the issue of an infringement notice by the ACCC.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Product category