The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched proceedings in the Federal Court against Ozsale (also trades as BuyInvite) for allegedly making false or misleading representation about the fire risk of its children’s garments.
The ACCC alleges that five children’s nightwear garments offered for sale by the online shopping club Ozsale were non-compliant with the applicable mandatory Australian standard.
The alleged defects ranged from having fire hazard warning labels that did not comply with the standard, to having no fire hazard warning labels at all. Fire hazard labels are intended to serve as a constant reminder to parents and care-givers of the potential fire risk associated with children’s nightwear.
In addition, the ACCC alleges that one garment’s composition and design was non-compliant with the mandatory Australian standard as it had a trim or attachment of excessive length, and the cotton material it was composed of was too dense.
Lengthy trims or attachments increase the risk of a garment coming in contact with a heat source, even when parents or care-givers may think a child is an adequate distance away from the heat source. For garments made of certain materials such as cotton, the denser the material, the quicker it will burn.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said: “Australian consumers are entitled to expect that children’s nightwear purchased in Australia is safe, fit-for-purpose and compliant with the mandatory Australian standard. This requirement extends to all children’s nightwear, irrespective of the retailer’s business model.
“Businesses such as Ozsale which purchase goods not originally intended for sale in Australian markets from overseas suppliers must have adequate procedures in place to ensure that those goods comply with applicable mandatory Australian standards before they are offered for sale to Australian consumers.”
The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, declarations, injunctions, costs and an order that Ozsale implement a product safety compliance program. The ACCC case against the Ozsale will be heard in Sydney on 3 February 2016 before Justice Robertson.