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In this edition: Product safety challenges white paper; New fines for product safety breaches; ACCC Chair Rod Sims speech; Start dates for laws and regulations
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Paradigm shift needed in product safety
By Gail Greatorex

Product safety is becoming ever more challenging. I have written a white paper Consumer product safety in Australia: Challenges for practitioners and business managers to examine the task of achieving compliance in the current commercial market.

The paper outlines the extent of the challenges and some possible measures for businesses, associations and government. 

Read more

ACCC Chair speech - Product safety perspective
by Gail Greatorex

On 13 July 2018, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair, Rod Sims, delivered a speech on the poor behaviours the ACCC has seen from companies. This includes several product safety cases.

I've done an edited extract of Mr Sims’ speech, with additional comment on consumer product safety.

The article also notes ASX plans to expand its governance principles to include a social licence to operate.

Read more


It starts when?!
by Gail Greatorex 

1 January can be a very impractical date for legal requirements to take effect - in Australia, we’re all at the beach on holiday.

It may sound like nice neat timing, but a 1 January start date means preparatory work has to be done in the December quarter and over Christmas. In the consumer market - one of the busiest times.

It would be helpful for government to have commencement date criteria in its policy guidance materials.

Read more 

$$$$$$$$ Much bigger fines for product safety breaches $$$$$$$$

On 23 August 2018, Parliament passed changes that substantially increase penalties for breaching the product safety provisions of the Australian Consumer Law. 

The maximum has gone from $1.1 million for companies to the greater of:  $10 million, three times the value of the benefit received, or where the benefit cannot be calculated, 10 per cent of annual turnover in the preceding 12 months.

Penalties against individuals under the ACL will also increase from $220,000 to $500,000 per breach. And the potential for disqualification as a director remains.
 
Video on the challenges white paper






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