From time to time, businesses involved in the manufacture and distribution of products encounter product safety issues. Most issues of this nature are dealt with quickly and voluntarily by businesses. The frequent appearance of voluntary product recall advertisements in newspapers demonstrates the process in action.
However, currently there exist a range of overlapping Commonwealth and State/Territory laws which deal with product safety issues. This can make it very difficult for businesses to understand their obligations and implement voluntary product recalls on a nationwide basis.
However, the Commonwealth Government has recently confirmed its commitment to the implementation and administration of a new national consumer product safety framework.
By the end of 2010, a single national product safety law will be in place. It will be jointly enforced by Commonwealth and State/Territory regulators. The ACCC will be responsible for leading the enforcement of the new law and coordinating product safety information for consumers and businesses.
Obviously, businesses will need to remain vigilant in dealing with any product safety issues that affect their products. However, an integrated regulatory approach to the problem will hopefully assist businesses in more easily understanding their obligations and quickly addressing any safety issues that arise.