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Businesses warned about ACCC mandatory product safety rules

Business owners need to be aware and prepared for new mandatory product safety reporting requirements that begin 1 January 2011 ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell has warned.

ACCC mandatory product safety reporting requirementThe new mandatory product safety reporting requirements powers of the ACCC mean that as soon as a business becomes aware that a product they have supplied has caused, or may have caused serious injury, illness or death, the business is required to notify the ACCC.

“The mandatory reporting requirement means businesses need processes to track and take action on consumer complaints promptly.” Mr Kell said.

“The reporting requirement was introduced to enable potential product safety hazards to be identified more readily, enabling a more rapid and targeted response to emerging safety issues.

“Suppliers will have to notify the ACCC within two days of learning that a consumer good or product related service they have supplied has caused, or may cause, serious injury, illness or death.

“To help suppliers prepare, the ACCC has today issued draft guidelines on the new requirement, for comment. In addition, the ACCC will engage directly with suppliers and supplier intermediaries at a number of forums to be held later in the year.

“I urge all suppliers to engage in the consultation process and begin preparing for the implementation of the new laws now. Information on the mandatory reporting requirements is available at www.productsafety.gov.au/mandatoryreporting. Business can also keep up-to-date on developments via Twitter: @ProductSafetyAU.”

The ACCC had the following to say on the new mandatory reporting requirement powers:

The reporting reform is one of a number implemented over the past year to improve Australia’s product safety system following a 2006 Productivity Commission review. The review noted suppliers often had access to more information about their products than government, and that government’s ability to respond to existing and emerging hazards could be improved with greater, and faster, access to relevant product safety information. The mandatory reporting requirement was recommended to address this issue.