Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail a link to a friend
Monday May 11, 2020

ACCC Gives Product Safety Tips for Pandemic

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) April 30 gave advice to companies for ensuring continued product safety compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also warned broadly:

"The ACCC will continue to prioritise our product safety responsibilities to keep Australians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring and may take action in relation to businesses that seek to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to unduly enhance their commercial position or harm consumers."

Its list of issues to consider included (

  • Be wary of unknown suppliers in dealing with shortages. Ensure regular if not increased communication with existing suppliers to stay aware of delays and problems. ACCC linked to its safe supplier guide (

  • Take extra steps to communicate recall matters with consumers given ongoing market/societal disruptions. Consider options like free pickup to overcome such problems.

  • Do not shirk on testing duties. If lab closures mean delayed testing, consider holding back on releases.

  • Remember the existence of voluntary standards for products not subject to mandatory rules.

  • Take into account the varying rules of different jurisdictions when selling online and de-list product until able to ensure compliance with all areas sold in.

  • Ensure clear communication of safety information online as well as clear, easy ways for consumer to make contact.

The guide contains numerous other tips, many not directly product-safety related such as being clear and honest about current supply delays and ACL guarantees obligations.


Additionally, ACCC was especially concerned that closures of physical stores mean a big uptick in businesses going online unfamiliar with their duties. It thus urged platforms to give extra attention towards:

  • Identifying and removing unsafe products.
  • Ensuring sellers supply contact details.
  • Considering additional compliance checks.
  • Keeping authorities informed of any safety trends.
  • Promoting safety compliance to sellers.