With the growth of online purchases, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has advised consumers to avoid potential safety issues by ensuring their online purchases meet mandatory Australian Safety Standards.

This warning came as part of International Product Safety Week which ran from 15-19 October.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said it is important for consumers to understand the potential product safety risks when they buy online.

“Mandatory standards and bans apply to some products sold in Australia. Even though products sold here are legally required to meet these requirements, people may be able to purchase products online which don’t meet these standards or have been recalled in another country,” she said.

The ACCC recently negotiated the Australian recall of 205,000 Bumbo baby seats to fit a safety harness after reports of multiple serious injuries to infants who fell from the seat. The ACCC became aware of this safety concern after Bumbo baby seats were recalled in the United States.

“The ACCC’s Product Safety website, can help consumers make a safe online purchase by giving them the information they need to determine if their purchase meets Australian standards,” Rickard said.

Consumers can now check recalls internationally following the launch of a global recalls portal, GlobalRecalls. This portal is an initiative of an OECD working party.

“This portal has been designed to help consumers, business and government to keep up to date with product recalls in different countries. Australia, the United States, Canada and the European Union are current contributors to GlobalRecalls but we are encouraging as many countries as possible to join,” Rickard said.

Hosted by the OECD, GlobalRecalls pulls together information on dangerous non-food consumer products identified by authorities from jurisdictions participating in the project.