Review of the mandatory safety standard for disposable cigarette lighters

Closed 9 Dec 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 safety standard for disposable cigarette lighters. 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 safety standard for disposable cigarette lighters because:

  • It was introduced 19 years ago and there are a number of deficiencies, particularly around clarity for suppliers regarding their testing and compliance obligations, which need to be addressed.
  •  In 2002, Standards Australia introduced a voluntary Australian standard for general requirements and child resistance that the mandatory safety standard does not consider.
  • We are considering whether trusted international standards could be used as the basis for safety requirements in 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 European, ASTM, USCPSC and ISO standards against its published criteria for acceptance.

Background

Disposable cigarette lighters supplied in Australia are essentially the same as those supplied in other major international markets and, for the purposes of the mandatory safety standard, include some refillable lighters.

The Australian market consists of products manufactured overseas, which are imported by distributors with a local network. There are no known Australian disposable cigarette lighter manufacturers.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics trade data from 2015 for the importation of gas fuelled non-refillable lighters indicated that 93 per cent of products came from France, with China and the Philippines each having a small percentage of the market. The data for gas fuelled re-fillable lighters indicated that 55 per cent of imports came from China.

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

 Accept the voluntary Australian standard

Option 3

 Accept the voluntary Australian standard or multiple trusted international standards

Option 4

 Revoke the mandatory safety standard


The ACCC’s preliminary position is that Option 3 is likely to provide the greatest net benefit for consumers, suppliers and regulators.

Your submission 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
  • Industry
  • Government agencies
  • Consumer groups
  • Government
  • Small business
  • Competition agencies

Interests

  • Product Safety
  • Consumer issues
  • Small business issues