What are product safety regulations and standards?
This page was updated3 years ago
Product safety regulations set product safety standards that suppliers of certain products must comply with. They are intended to help prevent and reduce the chance of accidents and injuries from using any of these products.
Product safety standards may cover:
the nature of the product and its performance - for example, composition, contents, manufacture, design, construction, finish or packaging
tests the products must go through during and/or after manufacture
the form and content of any markings, warnings or instructions on the product.
Supplying a product that fails to comply with the applicable product safety standard breaches the Fair Trading Act and is illegal.
Product safety regulations currently in force set product safety standards by identifying all, or parts, of an official safety standard that must be complied with. Official safety standards are set by Standards New Zealand or equivalent overseas agencies. Product safety standards set by the regulations are not always the same as official safety standards.
You are responsible for ensuring the products you sell meet their safety standard
If a product safety standard applies to products you are selling, you are responsible for ensuring your products comply with the standard. You cannot assume the product meets the product safety standard just because a supplier is offering to supply the product to you.
If you have any doubts about the safety of a product, do not sell the product. You can ask the supplier to provide information and evidence of safety tests, such as certificates. You can also carry out safety tests yourself. Ultimately, you must be satisfied that the products you sell comply with any applicable product safety standard.
How do I know what standard to comply with?
Standards are revised periodically. However, your legal obligations do not change until the relevant regulations are amended to refer to a revised standard. This may not happen at the same time. Sometimes, the regulations still require you to comply with an older standard that is different from the most recent standard applying to the same product.
Make sure you know which is the standard (or parts thereof) that you need to comply with by checking the regulations on the New Zealand Legislation website.
Even if the regulations do not require you to comply with the most recent standard, we encourage you to look at that revised standard and to adopt any additional product safety protections, even if they are not required by the existing regulation.
Supplying or selling products that do not meet product safety regulations is illegal. We can take action if we find a person or business has breached the product safety standards.
Who sets the product safety standards?
The product safety standards are set by Standards NZ or equivalent overseas agencies. You can purchase a copy of any of the standards from Standards New Zealand by calling 0800 782 632 or visit the Standards NZ website. You can access the regulations and the Fair Trading Act online at www.legislation.govt.nz. The information on this website is free.