Dangerous Toys Seized

Dangerous Toys Seized

Victoria Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien

1,900 Toys And Novelty Items Seized In Vic Product Safety Raids

Victor P Taffa

Product safety raids have resulted in the seizure of more than 1,900 toys and novelty items by Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors from a retailer in Altona and two warehouses in Moorabbin.

Inspecting the seized items in North Melbourne this morning, Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien said the covert operation into the importation and distribution of these products resulted in the execution of two search warrants late last week.

Mr. O’Brien said items seized included keyboards and musical toys, novelty lighters, candles, baby rattles, toy gun sets, toy ducks and baby dolls.

“These raids and the removal of dangerous toys and other items from the community sends a clear message that the safety of all Victorian families is very important to the Victorian Coalition Government.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“As a result of these product safety raids, 444 items were seized from a retail outlet in Altona, and a further 1,491 items were seized from two import warehouses in Moorabbin.

“The raids followed proactive product safety inspections which led to the detection of a variety of banned and non-compliant products from around 18 product lines being sold by the retailer.”

General Manager of the Australian Toy Association Paul Hodgson said the Association was thrilled at the ongoing support from Consumer Affairs Victoria on toy safety and the maintenance of industry standards.

“Removing these sub-standard, inferior and often dangerous products is a positive step in the right direction, but this is an ongoing battle.” Mr. Hodgson said.

Mr. O’Brien said the products seized posed many dangers especially to small children including choking and inhalation hazards due to small parts that can break easily, strangulation risks due to elastic cords and burns due to the lighter appearing like a toy and being attractive to children.

“Product safety inspectors have broad-ranging powers to search and seize products and are constantly monitoring Victorian wholesalers and retailers to ensure products on sale meet safety standards.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Victorian laws and the Australian Consumer Law include very strict standards and ban orders to keep families safe and ensure products available for sale are safe.”

“The introduction of the ACL has also imposed tougher penalties than under the previous Fair Trading Act anyone who fails to comply with product safety requirements with individuals now faces fines of up to $220,000 and corporations face fines of up to $1.1 Million.”

CAV inspectors are based across Victoria and can be mobilised rapidly to check for and/or seize goods that are unsafe. If inspectors detect unsafe products, there is a range of measures available under the ACL including removal of unsafe products from sale, public warning statements and voluntary and mandatory recalls.

Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) the States/Territories and ACCC have joint responsibility for ensuring compliance with product safety bans and standards.