Consumer products affecting young children’s safety and infant sleep products are among the ACCC’s product safety priorities during 2023-24, ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe announced today.
Addressing the National Consumer Congress in Melbourne, Ms Lowe explained the ACCC’s role in protecting consumers from unsafe products and outlined four priority areas, including supporting consumer confidence in sustainable products and product safety online.
“Consumers expect the products they purchase to be safe, and these priorities are critical to minimise the risks posed by unsafe products,” Ms Lowe said.
Ms Lowe renewed the ACCC’s commitment to protecting young children from unsafe consumer products.
“Addressing issues for young children, who are among the most vulnerable consumers, is our highest product safety priority,” Ms Lowe said.
“This broad body of work will involve continuing compliance, enforcement and education initiatives with a focus on toys for children under three, products containing button batteries and toppling furniture.”
Ms Lowe also announced the ACCC will this year implement strategies to prevent injuries and deaths associated with infant sleep products, including incline sleep products, bassinets and cots, bouncers and sleep aids.
“We’ll be conducting investigations into sleep products of highest concern and will take enforcement action where appropriate,” Ms Lowe said.
“An education campaign to be launched this week on infant incline products, including inclined sleepers and rockers, will help consumers and industry become more aware of the safety risks associated with these products.”
A new priority area for the ACCC is sustainability and maintaining product safety. This reflects the changing behaviour of consumers as they strive to be more environmentally conscious and make sustainable purchases.
“We will take action to support consumer confidence in the safety of sustainable products that are helping to underpin Australia’s transition to net zero and a circular economy,” Ms Lowe said.
“Over the next 12 months, we’ll develop best practices to reduce safety risks from reused or second-hand goods that are sold online and update recall guidelines to cover the circular economy.”
Product safety online also remains a priority for the ACCC, Ms Lowe said.
“We will refocus our efforts to ensure we are meeting the challenges consumers face in the ever-increasing digital economy,” Ms Lowe said.
“We’ll continue to encourage online platforms and suppliers to adopt best practices to prevent and detect the sale of unsafe goods as well as monitoring unsafe, non-compliant and banned products online using surveillance technology.”
“We’ll also develop best practice principles to reduce the safety risks from second-hand goods sold online,” Ms Lowe said.
“The ACCC will continue to identify and manage emerging product safety issues beyond these four priority areas, including through education, compliance and enforcement, monitoring recalls and developing and reviewing safety standards.”
More information including the full list of the ACCC’s 2023-24 product safety priorities is available at Product safety priorities 2023-24.
A transcript of Ms Lowe’s National Consumer Congress address is available on our website.
More information about infant incline products is available at Infant incline products and sudden death risks.
This media release was updated on June 21 2023 to include a link to the ACCC’s infant incline products webpage.