Monday March 05, 2018
Ignorance = Fine for Toy Firm in New Zealand
The New Zealand Commerce Commission February 26 framed its announcement of a new penalty as a warning to toy suppliers to learn about to safety mandates. This fine involved an Auckland District Court decision that AHL Co. Ltd. must pay NZ$20,000 (~US$14,440) following guilty pleas related to violations of the nation's Fair Trading Act.
The charges stemmed from baby rattles with small parts. In an echo of a similar court decision less than a month ago involving Mega Import and Export (PSL, 2/19/18), AHL expressed ignorance of the underlying requirements.
Judge Evangelos Thomas faulted AHL, saying it "failed to make enquiries that would have been straightforward to undertake." He also refused leniency despite AHL's subsequent efforts to improve compliance, asserting, "Those are steps that should have been taken prior to the distribution of the rattles" (bit.ly/2BUJV9A).
Sales occurred mostly in 2011 with a few in 2016. AHL did send recall notices to retailers.
In the other case, Mega Import and Export was assessed NZ$65,000 (~US$46,920).