Consumer Product Safety

Commissioned study

This study is completed. The final research report was released on 7 February 2006.

The primary purpose of this study was to inform the review of the Australian consumer product safety system undertaken by the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs (MCCA). The MCCA released a discussion paper, Review of the Australian Consumer Product Safety System, which considered the problems with, and the objectives of, the current product safety system, as well as outlining a number of options for reform.

The terms of reference require the Commission to examine Australia's consumer product safety system and review options for reform. As part of the study, the Commission was requested to:

  • assess the extent to which Australia's consumer product safety system is able to achieve its objectives
  • examine the direct and indirect economic and social costs and benefits of the reform options outlined in the MCCA paper as well as those of the current consumer product safety system.

This study focused on the general consumer product safety system, which is enshrined in the Trade Practices Act 1974 and State and Territory fair trading acts. The general product safety system applies to all consumer goods.

However, a number of classes of goods (including medicines, food, road transport vehicles, electrical products, buildings and agriculture) are subject to additional regulation.

These specific regulatory regimes are not directly covered under the terms of reference for this study, but they should be taken into account when assessing the case for reform.

Please note: the first thirty-one submissions to this study were the submissions to the Review of the Australian Consumer Product Safety System and are available on the Review website.

Further information