If a product is found to present a safety risk, it may need to be recalled. Recalling products identified as safety hazards can help prevent injuries to consumers.
Many suppliers voluntarily initiate their own recalls after becoming aware that one or more of their products presents a safety risk.
Each entity in the supply chain is responsible for assessing and fixing potential safety hazards presented by the products they supply.
Product safety recalls are an important way to get consumers to return unsafe products.
Businesses must be aware of their obligations for the products they sell. They can voluntarily recall an unsafe product.
Businesses should recall goods that have been supplied if they:
- are banned
- do not comply with a mandatory standard
- are unsafe in some other way that may cause an injury, including through reasonable misuse.
A failure to voluntarily recall an unsafe product or let consumers know of potential dangers can result in further action from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), or another relevant agency.
In some cases, OFT (or relevant agency) may initiate a compulsory recall in order to protect the public from an unsafe product. The relevant agency will direct how the compulsory recall is to occur and enforce compliance.
The ultimate goal of a recall is to get as many unsafe products back from consumers as possible and prevent any further distribution of the unsafe product.
Make sure your customers are not in danger by giving:
- a clear description of the product to be recalled, including model numbers
- details of the problem
- a statement describing the hazard
- the dates the product was supplied
- where the product was supplied
- what consumers should do with the product
- your contact details
- how to return the product.
OFT can make a business recall a product, under some circumstances, if:
- it does not meet a mandatory standard
- the product is unsafe.
All Australian governments can issue public warning notices. A public warning notice can:
- tell consumers that the safety of a product is being investigated
- warn about the risks of a product.
The maximum fines for selling a banned product are:
- $220,000 for an individual
- $1.1 million for a company.
If you have sold a product that has been recalled, you should contact OFT urgently for further advice.
Find out more about:
- conducting a recall
- how to conduct a successful recall
- submit a recall
- what products have been recalled.