The Australian Product Safety Pledge (the pledge) is a voluntary initiative which commits its signatories to certain product safety related responsibilities and reporting on the outcomes of their product safety measures.
About the pledge
The pledge aims to protect Australian consumers from safety risks when shopping online by strengthening product safety measures across online businesses.
The pledge was developed by the ACCC in collaboration with the inaugural signatories in response to the growth in online shopping and the challenges associated with managing product safety in the online marketplace.
As we navigate changes fuelled by the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, it is more important than ever for businesses to take positive steps to ensure consumers are provided with a safe and trusted online shopping experience.
Signatories to the pledge commit to:
- the implementation of 12 product safety related actions
- reporting annually on their performance, measured against three key performance indicators.
The ACCC aims to publish an annual report outlining signatories' overall performance on the pledge.
The pledge consists of 12 commitments that aim to strengthen product safety across online businesses through a combination of preventative and corrective actions. The pledge is accompanied by a guidance document which outlines good practice compliance approaches to help signatories meet the pledge commitments.
In the context of the pledge, signatories include, but are not limited to, online businesses that facilitate marketplace services, engaging in business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer transactions via the internet.
||1.||Regularly consult the Product Safety Australia website and other relevant sources for information on recalled/unsafe products. Take appropriate action on these products once they are identified.|
||2.||Provide a dedicated contact point(s) for Australian regulatory authorities to notify and request take-downs of recalled/unsafe products.|
Remove identified unsafe product listings within two business days of the dedicated contact point(s) receiving a take-down request from Australian regulatory authorities. Inform authorities on the action that has been taken and any relevant outcomes.
||4.||Cooperate with Australian regulatory authorities in identifying, as far as possible, the supply chain of unsafe products by responding to data/information requests within ten business days should relevant information not be publicly available.|
||5.||Have an internal mechanism for processing data/information requests and take-downs of unsafe products.|
Provide a clear pathway for consumers to notify the pledge signatory directly of unsafe product listings. Such notifications are treated according to the signatory's processes and where responses to consumers are appropriate, they are given within five business days.
||7.||Implement measures to facilitate sellers' compliance with Australian product safety laws. Share information with sellers on compliance training/guidance, including a link to the ACCC's Selling online page on the Product Safety Australia website.|
||8.||Cooperate with Australian regulatory authorities and sellers to inform consumers about relevant recalls or corrective actions on unsafe products.|
||9.||Set up processes aimed at preventing or restricting the sale of banned, non-compliant and recalled products as appropriate.|
Put in place reasonable measures to act against repeat offenders selling unsafe products, including in cooperation with Australian regulatory authorities.
Take measures aimed at preventing the reappearance of unsafe product listings already removed.
Explore the potential use of new technologies and innovation to improve the detection and removal of unsafe products.
Signatories to the pledge
The current signatories to the pledge include:
- Amazon Australia
- eBay Australia
Online businesses that operate as a marketplace, facilitating the supply of products to Australian consumers or as a hybrid marketplace and retailer that are seeking to strengthen or improve their product safety initiatives by participating in the pledge, are strongly encouraged to contact the ACCC.
Online shopping and product safety
Online shopping is growing rapidly in Australia, accelerated in recent times by the unprecedented increase in online sales driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2015 OECD global online product safety sweep led by the ACCC found high levels of non-compliance online:
- there was a search for 693 banned or recalled products, and just over two-thirds (68%) were found online
- of the 136 products purchased and physically inspected, over half (54%) did not comply with relevant product safety regulations.
 This could include, among other things, removal of product listings, blocking the sale of a product into Australia and/or informing consumers and sellers, as appropriate.
 This may also include informing sellers and requesting them to contact concerned buyers.