Consumer product safety
What we do
Trading Standards oversees consumer product safety in New Zealand. We regulate the safety of a wide range of consumer products, excluding food, medicines, electrical and gas appliances or motor vehicles' products (which are handled by other government agencies). Our work includes investigating national and international emerging product safety issues. We also work to reduce significant risks and hazards that products may pose risks to New Zealand consumers.
The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has specific powers (under the Fair Trading Act) to implement mandatory recalls, ban products with Unsafe Goods Notices, and set Product Safety Standards. These measures are enforceable by the Commerce Commission and New Zealand Customs.
- Investigates and analyses data, and gives advice to the Minister of Consumer Affairs about emerging product safety issues and the application of Minister’s Fair Trading Act powers.
- Maintains strong national and international stakeholder relationships with organisations such as:
- safety regulators – Ministry of Health, Commerce Commission, Environmental Protection Authority, Ministry for Primary Industries and Worksafe New Zealand.
- Australia / New Zealand Product Standards Committees (eg, children’s toys, household cost, prams and strollers and pedal bicycles)
- International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization and International Consumer Product Safety Caucus
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and State and Territory product safety standards.
- General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) (China)
- business and trade organisations such as the Retail NZ and the Employers and Manufacturers Association.
- Investigates and responds to consumer and trader complaints and enquiries.
- Prepares advisory and guidance material and resources for consumers and business to promote product safety.
- Monitors emerging product safety risks and issues and implements appropriate responses.
- Undertakes market surveillance, including visiting traders and suppliers, and sampling and testing products.
- Monitors and responds to product safety recall notices posted by overseas regulators and reported by businesses.
- Provides advice on product safety recall notices to ensure maximum effectiveness.
- Review of Product Safety Standards:
- Trading Standards is reviewing and updating the Product Safety Standards under the Fair Trading Act 1986. There is a rolling programme of reviews which will seek to address issues with the current set of mandatory safety standards.