Review of the mandatory safety standard for baby bath aids

Closed 25 Nov 2016

Opened 12 Oct 2016

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 baby bath aids. The issues in this paper have been briefly summarised below, 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 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reviewing the mandatory standard for baby bath aids to:

  • improve the permanence and legibility of the safety warnings
  • assess whether international standards are suitable for Australia.
     

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 ASTM standard against its published criteria for acceptance.

Background

Baby bath aids are intended to provide limited support in the water so that carers’ hands are free to bathe infants. They have been in use in Australia since the 1980s.

There is no voluntary Australian standard for baby bath aids. The mandatory safety standard (Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Baby Bath Aids) Regulations 2005) was introduced in 2005 following three reported deaths in 2002. The ACCC has not reviewed the mandatory standard since it was introduced.

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

Improve the permanence and legibility of the safety warnings

Option 3

Accept the ASTM standard

Option 4

Revoke the mandatory safety standard.


The ACCC’s preliminary position is that both Options 2 and 3 provide the greatest benefit for consumers, suppliers and regulators. Options 2 and 3 are compatible and are not mutually exclusive.

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

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Product Safety
  • Consumer issues