Frequently Asked Questions
- Why recall products?
- Who is responsible for product recalls in
- Who has to be told about recalls?
- Who monitors effectiveness of recalls in
- Where can I obtain a guide for business on
the recall of unsafe consumer products?
- Where do I find information on electrical
or gas appliance warnings that are not product recalls notified
under the Trade Practices Act?
- What is the source of the data on this Web
- Can you provide me with numerical data on
Australian product recalls?
- What if I've bought something that gets recalled?
- Reading Product Recall attachments.
Links within the following area will open in a new window
and take you out of the Product Recalls Australia site.
1. Why recall products?
If a product is defective or unsafe, or likely to cause damage or injury in
any way, it should be recalled as soon as possible. Unsafe products are usually
recalled from the marketplace by the supplier (manufacturer). The overarching
Australian consumer protection legislation (the Trade Practices Act 1974) does
not provide a definition of the term 'recall'. The ACCC takes the view
that if a supplier voluntarily asks consumers to carefully dispose of or return
defective goods for a refund or replacement, then that is seen as a 'recall'.
The same goes if the supplier asks consumers or other suppliers to return the
goods for some form of modification if the defect is safety-related.
2. Who is responsible
for product recalls in Australia?
Voluntary safety-related recalls are the responsibility of the supplier. The
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (the Australian Government's consumer
affairs spokesman) does have the power to order a compulsory recall of a product
if it will or may cause injury to a person AND where it appears that the supplier
has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the goods from causing injury.
3. Who has to be told
Suppliers undertaking safety-related recalls are required
by the Trade Practices Act to notify the Parliamentary Secretary
to the Treasurer within two days of commencing recall action.
Product recall notifications can be addressed to the Parliamentary
Secretary care of the ACCC. Other organisations that should
be notified are State and Territory consumer affairs authorities,
and the following authorities for specific product groups:
For electrical or gas appliance warnings (which are not product
recalls notified under the Trade Practices Act), State and
Territory electrical or gas regulators may publish warnings
from time to time concerning specific appliances.
4. Who monitors effectiveness
of recalls in Australia?
The ACCC monitors and audits the effectiveness of product
recalls of general consumer goods and the other Commonwealth
regulators responsible for specific products (e.g. FSANZ for
food products) monitor recalls of those products.
5. Where can I obtain
a guide for business on the recall of unsafe consumer products?
By clicking on the highlighted link you can obtain a guide
for business on the recall of unsafe consumer products.
6. Where do I find information
on electrical or gas appliance warnings that are not product
recalls notified under the Trade Practices Act?
State and Territory electrical or gas regulators may publish warnings
from time to time concerning specific appliances. Further information
on electrical or gas appliances warnings may be obtained by contacting
Equipment Safety Regulators or gas regulator at www.gtrc.gov.au
7. What is the source
of the data on this Web site?
It is based on publicly available information supplied by
the company undertaking the recall in newspaper advertisements
or other forms of announcements, and on official notification
to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, under the
requirements of section 65R of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
8. Can you provide me
with numerical data on Australian product recalls?
The following link provides a statistical
summary of Australian product recalls by product group since
9. What if I've bought
something that gets recalled?
If you buy a product that is later recalled you have certain
rights' depending on the type of recall and you should check
with the supplier to find out exactly what applies in your
Generally, if a product you buy is recalled, you will be
asked to return it to where you bought it, for a full refund.
The supplier may offer you a refund or a suitable replacement
product of the same value. Alternatively, they may offer to
return the product to you after they have made any necessary
If you have any queries about your rights or obligations in relation to a recall, contact the ACCC's Product Safety Policy Section on 02 6243 1262 or 02 6243 1206 or
You can also contact the relevant consumer protection authority
in your State or Territory, Electrical Equipment Regulator,
or Gas Technical Regulator.
10. Reading Product
The attachments to the Product Recall notifications are
in both Microsoft Word and Acrobat Acrobat PDF formats.
If you do not have Microsoft Word 97 or later installed on your
computer, you can download a free Word viewer at http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/2000/wd97vwr32.aspx
To view the Acrobat format files, the minimum you require
is the free Acrobat Reader, available for various computers
and operating systems, at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html
Instructions on how to install and use these programs are
also available at those web sites.
The ACCC is providing this information for the convenience
of Internet users and it does not constitute endorsement of
material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product
The listing of a person or organisation in any part of this
web site in no way implies any form of endorsement by the
Commonwealth of Australia of the products or services provided
by that person or organisation.
Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat are trademarks of their