Who must submit a mandatory report

  • Every supplier in the supply chain of a consumer good has an obligation to submit a mandatory report when they become aware of a death, serious injury or serious illness associated with a consumer good or product related service that they have supplied.
  • A group of suppliers can nominate an agent to submit a report on their behalf.
  • A supplier must submit a report whether the incident happened in Australia or overseas.

Every supplier has an obligation

All participants in the supply chain of a consumer good or product related service must submit a mandatory report if they become aware of a death, serious injury or serious illness regardless of whether it happened in Australia or overseas.

The mandatory reporting requirements apply to you or your business if you do any of the following things with consumer goods:

  • import
  • manufacture
  • sell (online or instore)
  • lease or hire
  • exchange
  • install
  • repair, maintain or enhance
  • clean
  • assemble 
  • deliver

Where more than one supplier would be required to report the same incident, you can authorise an agent to report an incident on your behalf.

A business is responsible for making the mandatory report, regardless of who in the business becomes aware of death, serious injury or serious illness. This includes any contractors or other representatives of the business.

If you fail to submit a mandatory report, you may be found guilty of a criminal offence and be liable to a penalty of $3,330 for an individual or $16,650 for a body corporate.

Example of who must submit a mandatory report

A supplier installed vertical blinds at a customer’s home. On Monday, the customer called the installer and said that their child had got their hands caught in the blinds on the weekend. The child suffered bruising and cuts, and needed stitches from a nurse.

The injury is serious (an acute injury requiring medical treatment by a nurse) and may have been caused by a consumer good (vertical blinds) or product related service (the installation of vertical blinds). 

The installer must submit a mandatory report of the serious injury by midnight on Wednesday, even if they don’t think there was a problem with the blinds themselves or the installation.

If the manufacturer of the vertical blinds or the shop that sold the vertical blinds becomes aware of this injury, they are also required to submit a mandatory report within 2 days. In this case, the installer, retailer or manufacturer could authorise one of them to submit the report on the others' behalf.

Consumer goods and product related services

A consumer good is a product intended to be used, or a kind of product likely to be used, for personal, domestic, or household use or consumption (for example, a household bookshelf).

Product related services are services related to consumer goods (for example, installation of a household bookshelf). If you provide a service associated with consumer goods, such as installing, servicing, inspecting, or repairing consumer goods, the mandatory reporting requirements also apply to you.

Example of a mandatory report for a product related service

A pool service provider servicing a backyard pool filter incorrectly replaces the skimmer box cover. Sometime later, a child playing in the pool is suctioned onto the filter and sustains a severe cut which requires treatment by a medical practitioner. The parents contact the pool service provider about the incident.

In this example, the pool technician is required to submit a mandatory report about the incident within 2 days of becoming aware of it.