Adopting Trusted Overseas Product Safety Standards

The Morrison Government is supporting businesses to innovate, grow and minimise compliance costs while maintaining stringent safety standards for consumer products and related services.

The Government in consultation with Consumer Ministers will look to develop amendments to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and associated legislation which would allow the adoption of trusted overseas product safety standards.

This is an Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet media release, originally published on 4th June, 2021.

Mandatory safety standards apply to consumer goods or related services to prevent or reduce the risk of injury to Australians. This change will allow the Commonwealth minister to permit compliance with a trusted overseas safety standard in lieu of the equivalent Australian standard, provided that the overseas standard provides at least an equivalent level of consumer protection.

We will also see if standards can be updated automatically, so that Australia does not lag behind overseas or voluntary Australian standards as it can presently.

Permitting compliance with trusted overseas safety standards will remove needless testing and compliance measures where a product has been manufactured overseas to the requirements of an equivalent overseas standard. The manufacturer will no longer be required to test the product again against the Australian standard.

This measure will assist business to get new products to families faster and cheaper. It will reduce red tape on business whilst continuing to protect consumers from product related harm.

The Government will work with Consumer Affairs Ministers to consider the outcomes of consultations and then progress amendments to the ACL and the updating of mandatory safety standards over time. Consultations are expected to commence in the second half of 2021.

This reform is a direct result of feedback from business as part of our deregulation agenda. Once fully implemented these changes are expected to save businesses millions per year in ensuring the products they supply to Australian consumers comply with mandatory safety standards.

Further information on the Government’s deregulation agenda is available from the Deregulation Taskforce.

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