Recovery straps for motor vehicles

The mandatory standard prescribes requirements for the information that must be provided with motor vehicle recovery straps, including warnings and information on the strap and packaging.

About recovery straps

The mandatory standard was last updated on 1 December 2017.

Recovery straps, also called snatch straps, are used to connect two vehicles when one is bogged and requires towing.

Exclusions

The mandatory standard does not apply to:

  • vehicle lifting slings
  • tie-down straps
  • wire cable
  • chain
  • rope
  • straps for conventional towing situations.

Mandatory standard

The Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Safety Standard 2017 sets out the mandatory requirements for motor vehicle recovery straps.

The mandatory standard also provides a transitional period which allows compliance with the previous Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Regulations 2010 until 1 December 2019.

You must consult the mandatory standard for these details.

Key requirements

These requirements aim to give suppliers a general idea of what is required by the mandatory standard. Suppliers must not rely on this information as a complete guide to compliance.

Information to be permanently fixed to the strap

The Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Safety Standard 2017 requires the following new warning label to be permanently fixed to it (not to scale):

The following information must also be fixed to the strap:

  • the name or logo of its Australian manufacturer, importer, distributor or other supplier
  • its batch code or serial number
  • its minimum breaking strength, expressed in metric units
  • a recommendation that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the vehicle's GVM
  • advice that the strap must be suited to the GVM of the lighter of the 2 vehicles used in the recovery process

Packaging marking

The packaging for a motor vehicle recovery strap must display the following information about the strap in English and in a way that is clearly visible and legible. It can be printed on the packaging or on a label attached to the packaging:

  • its brand name or supplier's logo
  • the name and contact details of its Australian manufacturer, importer, distributor or other supplier
  • its minimum breaking strength, expressed in metric units
  • a recommendation that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the vehicle's gross vehicle mass (GVM).

Instructions for use

A motor vehicle recovery strap must also be accompanied by instructions on how to use and maintain the strap. This must include:

  • the warning pictured above in the section: Information to be permanently fixed to the strap
  • persons intending to use the strap should consider completing a nationally recognised four wheel drive training course or contact a four wheel drive club for comprehensive advice on the proper selection and use of the strap
  • the strap must not be used for lifting or conventional towing
  • persons intending to use the strap must ensure that the strap is not damaged and is in usable condition
  • the strap's strength and stretch are reduced when the strap is saturated with water
  • an object such as a recovery damper, heavy bag or blanket must be draped over the strap during its use to reduce any unintentional rebound of the strap
  • before attempting the vehicle recovery, passengers of the vehicles involved must:
    • exit the vehicles
    • stand as far away from the vehicles as possible
    • avoid standing in the path of the vehicle performing the recovery
  • a recommendation that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the vehicle's GVM
  • advice that the strap must be suited to the GVM of the lighter of the 2 vehicles used in the recovery process

Complying with the mandatory safety standard during the transitional period

This mandatory standard includes a 2 year transition period to assist with the changeover to the new mandatory standard.

Up to 1 December 2019 suppliers have the option to comply with the requirements from either the Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Safety Standard 2017 or the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Regulations 2010.

From 2 December 2019 suppliers must only comply with the requirements of Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Safety Standard 2017.

More information is available in the Explanatory Statement available on the Federal Register of Legislation website.