If you supply products to Australian customers, whether in store or online, there are mandatory standards you must comply with. You must also follow other product safety rules such as product bans and recalls.

Suppliers can include retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers or manufacturers.

Mandatory standards, product safety, bans and recalls are law. There are penalties and consequences if you sell products that do not comply.

Mandatory safety and information standards

There are two types of mandatory product standards.

Safety standards are rules for the product's:

  • performance
  • composition
  • contents
  • methods of manufacture or processing
  • design
  • construction
  • finish or packaging.

Information standards are rules about information that you must give to consumers when they buy specified goods. Examples include:

  • ingredient labels for cosmetics
  • health warning labels for tobacco products
  • care labelling for clothing and textile products.

Product safety regulation in Australia for general consumer goods is a shared responsibility between the:

  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
  • state and territory product safety regulators.

Other government agencies are also responsible for regulating the safety of different types of products.

Supplying safe products

Businesses need to use quality control measures to make sure products:

  • meet mandatory levels of safety
  • will not cause harm when used in a reasonable manner, including reasonable misuse.

If you supply or manufacture products, you need to make sure they are safe. To do this you need to:

  • provide clear instructions for use
  • provide warnings against possible misuse
  • know about and meet industry and mandatory standards
  • develop product recall plans and procedures
  • incorporate safety into product design
  • implement a quality assurance program
  • respond quickly to safety concerns that arise. 

It makes good business sense to think about product safety. Complying with safety standards and bans will make your products safe and help you avoid:

  • the cost of recalls
  • damaging your reputation
  • exposing your business to legal action or formal complaints
  • losing customers.

Product safety problems

If you have a product safety problem, act quickly.

If you think a product isn't safe you can:

In some cases you're legally required to notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about a product safety problem.

Online product safety

The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) provides product safety guidance for online sellers. Its tips, information and factsheets on how to comply with mandatory standards will help you sell safe products online.

Online product safety and the mandatory standards apply to both:

  • local Australian businesses
  • international overseas-based businesses who sell to Australian consumers via the internet.

Was this page helpful?