Conducting a consumer product safety recall

  • Australians expect that the products they buy are safe, and that suppliers will protect consumers.
  • When a product is potentially unsafe, suppliers have a responsibility for removing the risk to public safety as quickly as possible by removing the product from sale, contacting consumers, and publicly offering to repair, replace or refund the product.
  • You are responsible no matter where you are in the supply chain – manufacturer, importer, distributor or retailer.

Submit a recall notification

How to conduct an effective product safety recall

There are steps suppliers should follow to run a well-managed product safety recall from start to finish. You may complete items at the same time and some items are ongoing.

  1. Determine if a recall is needed Find out when to recall a consumer product for safety reasons.
  2. Tell the ACCC You need to tell us about your recall within 2 days of taking a recall action.
  3. Identify affected products and assess the risk If you suspect there may be a safety issue with a product you have supplied, investigate to decide if it may or will cause harm to consumers. Use information about the product, defect or dangerous characteristic, and hazard to assess the risk.

    You need to understand how and why it is dangerous, to reduce the likelihood that the safety issue will occur again and to prevent future recalls and people getting harmed.
  4. Prepare to recall Once you’ve identified the product and risk, don’t delay starting the recall and informing consumers. Being prepared with a recall plan can save you time and lead to better results should you need to start a recall. Decide which supplier will lead the recall, if more than one supplier is affected.
  5. Choose a remedy Providing a suitable remedy helps achieve the objective of a recall, which is to remove the hazard from consumers and the marketplace as quickly as possible. You must also comply with Australian Consumer Law, which includes rights to a repair, replacement or refund as well as compensation for damages and loss.
  6. Plan how you will communicate the recall Use clear and direct communication, often on multiple channels, for an effective product recall. Consumers need to find out about the recall, how dangerous it is and know what to do.
  7. Track, review, report and adjust To make your recall successful, you need to track, review and be prepared to report on the success of the recall. You may need to adjust what you are doing to improve its effectiveness.
  8. Finalise the recall There is no set timeline for how long you should carry out a recall. You need to consider if you have done enough to reduce the risk to consumers.

See also