Review of the mandatory safety standard for babies' dummies

Closed 11 Nov 2016

Opened 28 Sep 2016

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The ACCC invites you to have your say on the issues and policy options in  the consultation paper on the review of the mandatory standard for babies' dummies. The issues in this paper have been briefly summarised above, please refer to the document for further details.

The ACCC prefers submissions to be provided via the ACCC consultation hub.

Alternatively, interested parties can email submissions to productsafety.regulation@accc.gov.au

Submissions can also be made via post to:

Director
Standards & Policy
Consumer Product Safety Branch
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3131
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Submissions will be published on the ACCC website at the end of the consultation period.

Please note any information that you believe to be of a confidential nature should be clearly marked or identified as confidential. The ACCC will not disclose the confidential information to third parties, other than advisors or consultants engaged directly by the ACCC, without first providing you with notice of its intention to do so, such as where it is compelled to do so by law.

Why We Are Consulting

The ACCC is reviewing the mandatory safety standard for babies dummies because:

  • The mandatory safety standard references AS2432:1991 Babies’ Dummies, a 1991 voluntary Australian standard, which the 2015 version replaces.
  • There is an interpretation problem with the ‘shield test’ in the mandatory safety standard meaning safe dummies can fail the safety standard. The 2015 voluntary Australian standard resolves this problem.
  • The ACCC is considering whether to consolidate the safety provisions of the two bans on babies’ dummies with unsafe decorations and unsafe dummy chains into the mandatory safety standard. The 2015 voluntary Australian standard includes provisions about unsafe decorations on dummies. This would maintain the safety requirements and the two bans would become redundant and could be revoked.
  • The ACCC is considering trusted international standards as ways to demonstrate compliance.

The purpose of this review is to assess whether the mandatory safety standard remains effective and whether there are more efficient ways of achieving the same level of safety. This review of the standard considers the adoption of international standards. The ACCC has assessed the European, ISO and CPSC standards for babies' dummies against its published criteria for acceptance.

Background

Babies' dummies in Australia are currently regulated by a mandatory standard that sets out requirements for

  • the size and integrity of the dummy shield
  • the strength of the teat
  • the size and integrity of a ring, handle and plug
  • packaging type
  • product identification
  • warning labelling
  • instructions for the use and hygienic care of a dummy.

There is also a permanent ban on dummies with unsafe decorations and on unsafe dummy chains.

Policy options

The ACCC is considering four policy options for dealing with the current mandatory safety standard:

 

Option 1

Keep the current mandatory safety standard (status quo).

Option 2

Allow the 1991 and 2015 voluntary Australian standards and incorporate the bans on dummy chains and dummies with unsafe decorations.

Option 3

Allow the 1991 and 2015 voluntary Australian and European standards and incorporate the bans on dummy chains and dummies with unsafe decorations.

Option 4

Revoke the mandatory safety standard.

 

The ACCC is currently of the view that Option 4 is likely to provide the greatest benefit for consumers, suppliers and regulators.

Stakeholder submissions to this consultation will help us refine the benefits and safety outcomes for each option, and to recommend the most appropriate option to the Minister.

Audiences

  • All consumers
  • All business
  • Consumer groups
  • Government
  • Small business
  • Competition agencies

Interests

  • Product Safety