ACCC reminds online sellers to follow consumer law

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ACCC reminds online sellers to follow consumer law

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned online retailers of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC chose the reminder to coincide with International Product Safety Week, which runs from 12 to 16 November and is observed by the European Union 24 other nations from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“Under Australian Consumer Law, anyone selling products to Australian consumers must ensure their products aren’t banned here and that they meet Australia’s 42 mandatory safety standards, no matter where they are located in the world,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

Rickard also revealed that the ACCC “has been working proactively with a number of online selling platforms such as eBay, Etsy, AliExpress, Gumtree, and Catch.com.au to improve product safety compliance in the online marketplace.”

“These platforms are undertaking a range of activities to improve awareness of unsafe products, including sending tailored compliance alerts and information to sellers about Australian regulations, and putting processes in place that enable swifter removal of listings that include unsafe products,” an ACCC statement read.

“If any products don’t comply with Australian regulations, we expect online suppliers and marketplaces to stop them being sold in Australia,” Rickard said in the statement.

Nati Harpaz, CEO of the Catch Group, is happy with the ACCC's actions

“There’s no greater priority for us than ensuring the safety of the products we sell and the satisfaction of our customers,” he said.

Australian IT retailers will welcome news of the ACCC’s work, because as CRN explained in August 2018, they are required to replace defective products and wear the cost of doing so before disties or vendors step in.

News that lower-cost rivals are also being told to comply with consumer law levels the playing field a little.

Ultimate responsibility, however, lies with consumers, who the ACCC urged to “check online ratings and reviews, which may indicate any safety issues other consumers have experienced” and to report anything untoward to the Commission.

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