How to Conduct a Product Recall in Australia: A Guide
Product recalls are becoming increasingly common. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") and industry-specific regulators are very active in both overseeing product recalls and prosecuting non-compliance with legislative requirements. The ACCC is inclined to target large corporations. A failure to adhere to legislative requirements may be an offence and/or be met with a civil penalty enforced by the ACCC. Since 1 September 2018, penalties for non-compliance have substantially increased. Individuals may be subject to disqualification orders for participation in certain breaches.
Suppliers must comply not only with legislative obligations but the informal requirements of the ACCC in conducting a recall. These include collaborating with the ACCC to develop a recall strategy, providing regular progress reports to the ACCC during a recall and complying with the ACCC's recall closure procedures. Product recalls can span for years and be highly onerous and expensive.
The product recall regime is complemented by a legislative product-safety framework that concerns product bans, safety warnings and compulsory reporting of serious safety-related incidents caused by consumer products.
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