12 May 2009

Next Step Towards a National Product Safety Framework

The Budget provides $24.8 million over five years to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to implement and administer the new national consumer product safety framework, which that was agreed by Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in July 2008.

COAG has agreed to create a single national product safety law with joint and consistent enforcement by Commonwealth and State and Territory regulators.

"The ACCC will be responsible for leading the enforcement of the new national law and permanent product bans and mandatory standards," Mr Bowen said.

"The national framework will increase the ACCC's capacity to identify emerging consumer hazards and improve access to information for consumers about product hazards.

"Both consumers and businesses will benefit from nine sets of different product safety regimes being folded into the national product safety law."

The Government considers these changes are important to enhance consumer safety and to allow the ACCC to address emerging issues promptly.

The ACCC will also coordinate access to information to ensure consumers are aware of product safety risks and suppliers understand their obligations.

The ACCC will also advise the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Minister in making product bans and consumer mandatory safety standards that will apply across the nation, to all retailers and suppliers.

The national product safety framework will be in place by the end of 2010 in line with the National Partnership Agreement to Deliver a Seamless National Economy.