The consumer regulator has revealed it is part of an international task force to boost the safety of products sold online, stating that overseas products must meet the same standards imposed on local sellers.
As part of International Product Safety Week, which runs from 12 to 16 November, the ACCC has joined forces with the European Commission and some 24 other countries to address the proliferation of products deemed unsafe being sold over the internet.
According to the ACCC, Australians made an estimated $21.3 billion worth of purchases online in 2017 and are increasingly buying goods from overseas.
“Under Australian Consumer Law, anyone selling products to Australian consumers must ensure their products aren’t banned here and that they meet Australia’s 42 mandatory safety standards, no matter where they are located in the world,” the agency’s deputy chair, Delia Rickard, said.
“Online shoppers are particularly exposed to injury or illness risks because they cannot physically examine products and their labelling as they would when shopping in store.”
Under its efforts, the ACCC has said it is working with major online marketplaces, including eBay, Etsy and Gumtree, to improve compliance rates with product safety rules.
“If any products don’t comply with Australian regulations, we expect online suppliers and marketplaces to stop them being sold in Australia.”
Information on product safety laws for online sellers published on the ACCC website states that any business selling goods over the internet must comply with mandatory safety standards and not sell banned products.
Additionally, businesses are required to issue immediate product recalls if a safety hazard or regulatory breach is discovered and notify the relevant federal minister.
The full list of mandatory safety standards can be found on the ACCC’s Product Safety Australia website.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.