Unsafe products permanently banned under Australian Consumer Law


Cigarette lighters that look like children's toys and 'sky lanterns' are among the first 10 permanent product bans made under the new Australian Consumer Law, said Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury.

The products, which were initially the subject of 18‑month interim bans, have now been permanently banned in all States and Territories.

"These are the first permanent bans under the new Australian Consumer Law and will help to keep consumers safe from potentially hazardous products," said Mr Bradbury. "Under the new national product safety system, these bans will be in force uniformly in all States and Territories."

The bans include seven products that were identified by the Commonwealth, States and Territories through a process last year to harmonise product safety regulations in Australia, while a further three products were recommended for permanent bans by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

"The products that have now been permanently banned under the Australian Consumer Law include cigarette lighters that look like children's toys, infant food containers and toys that contain more than 1% of the chemical diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), and unmanned hot air balloons, or 'sky lanterns'.

"These permanent bans will ensure that consumers, particularly children, are protected from products that may cause them serious harm.

"A supplier of goods that are found to be in breach of these bans can be prosecuted and fined up to $1.1 million and can also be required to recall the goods at their expense."

The Australian Consumer Law, which came into effect on 1 January 2011, allows for permanent bans and standards made by the Commonwealth to have effect in all States and Territories.

"The Commonwealth has worked with the States and Territories to develop a national product safety system, so that products deemed to be unsafe are subject to bans or standards consistently across the country, enforced by State and Territory as well as Commonwealth regulators," said Mr Bradbury.

"A national product safety system also cuts down on red tape for businesses that operate in more than one State and Territory. Under the new Australian Consumer Law, businesses only have one set of product safety regulations to comply with, making it easier to operate across State and Territory borders."

More information on the permanent bans, and the national product safety system, can be found at www.productsafety.gov.au.

Products subject to new permanent bans

Product Description
Children's products containing more than 1% diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) Toys, childcare articles and eating vessels intended for use by children up to an including 36 months of age that contain more than 1% DEHP.
Combustible candle holders Candle holders that ignite and continue to flame for a period of five seconds or more.
Inflatable toys, novelties and furniture containing beads Inflatable toys, novelties or furniture which may be inflated by the mouth and contain small beads or pellets that may be inhaled during inflation or deflation.
Miniature motorbikes (Monkey Bikes) with unsafe design features Miniature motor bikes that are not certified under the Road Vehicle Certification System, unless they comply with specific safety requirements regarding throttle, breaking system, foot pegs, steering and supplemental engine stop.
Novelty cigarettes (Puff Cigarettes) Imitation cigarettes that contain a fine powder, such as talc, that allow users to blow into, or inhale from, the imitation cigarette to produce a cloud of fine dust.
Pools and spas with unsafe design features 'Potty skimmers' designed for installation in domestic swimming pools or spas; pool or spa outlets which are not designed to reduce or minimise the likelihood of entrapment of any part of a person's body or hair; transportable swimming pools or spas which contain integrally moulded potty skimmers or outlets that are not designed to reduce or minimise the likelihood of entrapment of any part of a person's body or hair.
Sky lanterns Miniature, unmanned hot air balloon that relies on an open flame as a heat source to heat the air inside the lantern with the intention of causing it to lift into the atmosphere.
Toy-like novelty cigarette lighters Toy-like novelty cigarette lighters that are likely to be appealing to children under 5 years of age by appearing to be a toy, including the depiction of stylised animals, cartoon characters or be of colours or a scale typical of toys.
Yo-Yo Water Balls Toys intended to be thrown and returned to the hand, consisting of an elastic cord extendable to at least 500mm in length, usually with a loop on one end to wear around the finger, and a soft synthetic object, filled with liquid or air, on the other.
Undeclared cutters or knives in children's art and craft sets Art and craft sets intended for use by children that contain an undeclared knife or cutter with a metal blade.

Contact details

General inquiries

Infocentre 1300 302 502

Responsible regulator

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission


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