Dimmeys Stores has been penalised $400,000 for supplying children’s dressing gown that failed to comply with the mandatory consumer product safety standard for children's nightwear.

"This outcome is significant because it is the first civil penalty handed down for a breach of a product safety standard," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said.

The ACCC had alleged that in May and June 2010 Dimmeys sold children's dressing gowns which did not carry any fire hazard warning label as required by the standard.  It was further alleged that between April 2009 and August 2010 Dimmeys sold dressing gowns which did not have their fire hazard warning label attached in the correct position in accordance with the standard.

The ACCC enforces a mandatory standard for the labelling of children's nightwear which is designed to reduce the risk of burn injuries to children by providing specific information on the fire hazard of relevant garments.

"The children's nightwear standard is extremely important because it concerns the safety of young children," Samuel said. "Partial compliance is not an option for suppliers."

The company was penalised $300,000 for the contraventions relating to the sale of the dressing gowns that did not carry any fire hazard warning label. In addition, it was penalised another $100,000 for the contraventions relating to the sales after 14 April 2010 of the dressing gowns that had their fire hazard warning label in the incorrect position.

"This case sends a strong message to all suppliers that they risk substantial penalties if they supply products which do not comply with prescribed product safety standards," Samuel said.

In 2001 Dimmeys was fined $160,000 for breaches in relation to selling children's nightwear that did not comply with the standard. In 1999 Dimmeys was fined $60,000 for product safety breaches in relation to the sale of children's bicycles.

Dimmeys' conduct was detected by ACCC staff during one of the ACCC's product safety survey exercises which are conducted on a regular basis. Dimmeys voluntarily recalled the dressing gowns after being approached by the ACCC. Dimmeys also admitted the contravening conduct and agreed to all orders sought other than the amount of the penalty.