Aussie e-commerce retailers pledge to improve product safety
Four Australian e-commerce businesses have confirmed their commitment to protecting consumers from unsafe goods online after signing the Australian Product Safety Pledge. The pledge is a voluntary initiative that commits its signatories to a range of safety-related responsibilities that go beyond what is legally required of them.
AliExpress, Amazon Australia, Catch.com.au and eBay Australia are the first businesses to sign the pledge, signifying their commitment to consumers’ safety by removing unsafe product listings within two days of being notified by the ACCC.
The pledge consists of 12 product safety commitments and three measurable performance indicators, as well as guidance to assist signatories in fulfilling their commitments. Signatories must report on their product safety performance at the end of each financial year to inform an annual public report by the ACCC.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said the initiative is an important step forward in ensuring businesses provide consumers with a safe and trusted online shopping experience.
“The already fast-growing e-commerce market in Australia has accelerated even more this year, as the pandemic meant people have had to do more of their shopping from home. With the boom in online shopping, it is more important than ever for businesses to prioritise product safety,” said Rickard.
In 2015, the ACCC led the OECD international online product safety sweep, which found high levels of non-compliance online. There was a search for 693 banned or recalled products, and 68% were found online. Of the 136 products purchased and physically inspected, 54% did not comply with relevant product safety regulations.
“We applaud these signatories for signing up to the pledge and for confirming their commitment to protecting Australian consumers. We encourage them to continue to innovate to improve product safety,” said Rickard.
The ACCC will invite other online businesses, particularly those facilitating marketplace services, to sign the pledge, with more signatories expected to join in future. The pledge is voluntary and outlines good-practice approaches expected of industry.
Adopting the pledge does not replace the need to ensure overall compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act, including the Australian Consumer Law, or other relevant legislation. It also does not prevent the ACCC or other regulatory bodies from taking action against signatories for breaching the legislation.
Online businesses that are interested in taking the pledge are encouraged to visit the Product Safety Australia website for more information.
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