22 March 2024

New bicycle helmet safety standard to save industry millions

Today, the Assistant Treasurer has accepted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recommendation to implement a new safety standard for bicycle helmets.

The new safety standard prescribes requirements for the design, construction, performance, and safety marking of bicycle helmets. The safety standard will allow suppliers to comply with the latest voluntary Australian or comparable overseas standards when supplying bicycle helmets to consumers in Australia.

Permitting the use of bicycle helmets that meet Australian or overseas standards brings many benefits. It will reduce compliance and administrative costs for Australian businesses, especially where a business is already complying with an overseas standard. The ACCC has found that increased access to global markets for bicycle helmets will save industry up to $14 million each year.

Cyclists will also benefit from the new safety standard as they will be able to access a greater variety of helmets at lower prices as suppliers pass on cost savings to consumers.

Before making its recommendation, the ACCC consulted a range of stakeholders including industry and retail associations, businesses, consumer advocacy groups, product safety consultants, state and territory governments and local and international regulators. Most stakeholders supported the ACCC proposing a new safety standard.

Separate to the new safety standard, State and Territory road safety authorities administer laws that govern which helmets can be legally used on public roads in each jurisdiction (road ‘use’ laws). Currently, all States and Territories require cyclists to wear a bicycle helmet that complies with the voluntary Australian standard only.

The new safety standard will provide States and Territories the opportunity to allow cyclists to wear a greater range of safe bicycle helmets. The Government encourages the States and Territories to update their road use laws in line with the new safety standard. Allowing businesses to supply helmets which comply with an increased range of voluntary Australian and overseas standards will allow them to reduce their regulatory burden and provide consumers a greater choice of helmets at a lower cost.

Transition period

The new safety standard provides a transitional period of 18 months beginning on the day it commences. During the transitional period, suppliers must meet the requirements of either:

  • the Consumer Goods (Bicycle Helmets) Safety Standard 2024 or
  • the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Bicycle Helmets) Regulations 2001.

After the transitional period, suppliers must meet the requirements of the Consumer Goods (Bicycle helmets) Safety Standard 2024.

More information about mandatory standards is available on the Product Safety Australia website.