New safety standard for aquatic toys

A blow-up swimming ring in a pool

An updated mandatory safety standard for aquatic toys will help to better protect children using inflatable aquatic toys in and around water.

Children, in particular young children who often cannot swim, are at risk of drowning if their inflatable aquatic toy suddenly deflates when air is released through the air inlet. The hazard increases if children use an aquatic toy unsupervised or rely on it as if it were a flotation aid or other life-saving device.

“The updated consumer standard maintains consumer protections and is an important reminder that parents and carers should only purchase safe, approved products that meet the requirements of the mandatory standard,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Safety in and around water is of paramount importance to all Australians, especially young children.”

“It is crucial for parents and carers to remember that aquatic toys are not flotation aids and are never a substitute for constant and competent supervision,” Ms Rickard said.

Suppliers can now comply with either the latest Australian voluntary standard or the trusted overseas ISO standard.

This will save Australian businesses $1 million per annum through greater access to global markets and reduced compliance costs. The updated standard also means greater choice and lower prices for consumers, helping the family budget.

Key requirements of the mandatory standard are:

  • that aquatic toys must carry a warning statement
  • that advertising material shall not state or imply that a child will be safe if left unsupervised with such a toy, and
  • design and performance requirements for air inlets of inflatable aquatic toys.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law all suppliers must comply with the mandatory standard to protect children from injury or risk fines and penalties,” Ms Rickard said.

Transition period

The new standard provides a transitional period of 24 months beginning on the day it commences. During the transitional period, suppliers must meet the requirements of either:

  • Consumer Goods (Aquatic Toys) Safety Standard 2020, or
  • Consumer Protection Notice No. 2 of 2009 (Consumer Product Safety Standard for Flotation Toys and Aquatic Toys).

After the transitional period, suppliers must meet the requirements of the Consumer Goods (Aquatic Toys) Safety Standard 2020.

Further information on the new mandatory standard is available on the Product Safety Australia website.

ACCC Media Release: 133/20.

Media enquiries: Media team – 1300 138 917